Affective Reactivity to Daily Stressors and Long-Term Risk of Reporting a Chronic Physical Health Condition

Abstract

Background

Daily stressors, such as an argument with a spouse or an impending deadline, are associated with short-term changes in physical health symptoms. Whether these minor hassles have long-term physical health ramifications, however, is largely unknown.

Purpose

The current study examined whether exposure and reactivity to daily stressors is associated with long-term risk of reporting a chronic physical health condition.

Methods

Participants (N = 435) from the National Study of Daily Experiences completed a series of daily diary interviews between 1995 and 1996 and again 10 years later.

Results

Greater affective (i.e., emotional) reactivity to daily stressors at time 1 was associated with an increased risk of reporting a chronic physical health condition at time 2.

Conclusion

Results indicate that how people respond to the daily stressors in their lives is predictive of future chronic health conditions.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Correspondence to Jennifer R. Piazza Ph.D..

Additional information

This work was supported by the National Institute of Health Grants awarded to David M. Almeida (P01 AG020166 and R01 AG019239) and Martin J. Slwinski (P01 AG03949).

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Piazza, J.R., Charles, S.T., Sliwinski, M.J. et al. Affective Reactivity to Daily Stressors and Long-Term Risk of Reporting a Chronic Physical Health Condition. ann. behav. med. 45, 110–120 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-012-9423-0

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Keywords

  • Daily stressors
  • Stress
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Chronic illness
  • Reactivity