Stress-Related Growth in Japanese Adolescents Experiencing High School Entrance Examinations



High school entrance examinations and preparation for them have become a highly stressful experience for many Japanese adolescents. This study examined the relationship between stress-related growth (SRG) and distress resulting from these exams from the perspective of positive meaning-making. Ninth graders (N = 183, 87 females, aged 14–15 years) of a public school in Tokyo participated in the study by responding to a questionnaire survey. Results indicated that meaning-making was positively correlated with SRG (r = .58, p < .001), whereas it was negatively correlated with distress (r = −.20, p = .006). Moreover, SRG was negatively correlated with distress (r = −.34, p < .001). Mediation analysis demonstrated that SRG positively mediates the relationship between meaning-making and distress, while distress negatively mediates the relationship between meaning-making and SRG. These results have implications for understanding the causal relationships between SRG and distress, from the perspective of positive meaning-making regarding high school entrance examinations in Japan.


Stress-related growth Posttraumatic growth Meaning-making High school entrance examinations Adolescence 



This research was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16J01937.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

First author has received research grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyChuo UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan

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