Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 833–848 | Cite as

Psychological and Social Factors that Promote Positive Adaptation to Stress and Adversity in the Adult Life Cycle

  • M. Guadalupe Jiménez AmbrizEmail author
  • María Izal
  • Ignacio Montorio
Research Paper


The phenomenon of resilience reflects positive adaptation despite contexts of risk, significant adversity, or trauma (Masten and Powell 2003; Luthar 2006). The purpose of this investigation was to propose a mediation model to explain the relation between stress and some psychological and social resources that enhance positive adaptation throughout the entire adult life cycle, and to explore the moderator role of age and country of origin. The indicator of positive adaptation was life satisfaction (LS). The sample comprised 171 Mexicans and 154 Spaniards (N = 325), aged between 18 and 87 years. Mediation was tested by means of various hierarchical regression analyses, which revealed that the positive adaptation process is enhanced by a group of psychological and social resources that mediate the effects of stress on LS. Self-esteem, optimism, internal control, coping aimed at acceptance, and coping aimed at seeking emotional support, as well as social contacts can mediate the negative effects of stress. Finally, it was found that age moderates the internal control but none of the remaining variables whereas the country does not moderate the relation of the variables.


Positive adaptation Resilience Stress Life satisfaction Adult life cycle 



This investigation was partially funded by a grant from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología [National Council of Science and Technology] (Mexico) awarded to the first author for her doctoral studies, and partially as a research project funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación [Ministry of Science and Innovation] (Spain) through the project PSI2008-02338/PSIC Emotional Information-Processing in Later Adulthood. Special thanks to Dr. Ursula Staudinger for her theoretical and statistical advice in this study. We thank the reviewers of this manuscript for their helpful comments that improved this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Guadalupe Jiménez Ambriz
    • 1
    Email author
  • María Izal
    • 1
  • Ignacio Montorio
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Psicología MóduloUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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