Cumulative lifetime stress variables as predictors of depression and chronic illness in women


Cumulative lifetime stress variables as predictors of depression and chronic illness in women

Mireault, Maria (1998) Cumulative lifetime stress variables as predictors of depression and chronic illness in women. Masters thesis, Concordia University.



Further progress in understanding the relationship between psychological stress and health may require examination of the cumulative effects of stress experienced across the lifespan. The main objectives of the present research were to learn more about the nature of stress experienced by women during the life course and to examine the relative contribution of cumulative lifetime stress to the prediction of depression and chronic illness. Data acquired from a sample of three hundred and eight women who volunteered for an earlier study examining the impact of changing lifestyles on health were analyzed for this study. Subjects completed a wide variety of psychosocial measures including a retrospective measure of lifetime stress, the Concordia Lifetime Stress Graph (CLSG). A qualitative analysis of the CLSG identified several differences in lifetime stress experienced by the younger and older women. Work-related stress was the most frequently reported stressor by women aged 30-59. In addition, work-related stress, separation and divorce were perceived as being the most stressful events by this age group. Women aged 60 and over reported death of a family member most frequently and also rated it as being the most stressful event experienced. Younger and older women also differed in the variability of lifetime stress experienced, however, they did not differ on mean lifetime stress. Results of the quantitative analyses indicated that cumulative lifetime stress, as measured by the CLSG is not related to depression or chronic physical illness in women. However, methodological problems may have influenced these findings and further research should be conducted before concluding that lifetime stress does not affect women's health.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mireault, Maria
Pagination:xi, 126 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Thesis Supervisor(s):Chaikelson, June
ID Code:563
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:12
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:15
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