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Steeling in Later Life: Exploring Age-Specific Effects of Varying Levels of Stress on Psychological Resilience


Höltge, Jan; Mc Gee, Shauna L; Maercker, Andreas; Thoma, Myriam V (2019). Steeling in Later Life: Exploring Age-Specific Effects of Varying Levels of Stress on Psychological Resilience. International Journal of Aging & Human Development:ePub ahead of print.

Abstract

The steeling effect suggests that “optimal” stress positively affects well-being by enhancing resilience. However, there is lack of longitudinal investigations in diverse age groups. The aim was to explore steeling in later life and potential predictors. The sample consisted of N = 195 participants. A 1-year longitudinal survey study was conducted. Sociodemographics, experienced stress, resilience resources, and satisfaction with life were assessed. Latent profile analysis was used to identify profiles that differ in the change of resilience resources over time and to examine differences between the profiles across the other study variables. Three profiles emerged: decreased resources (Decrease), stability of resources (Maintenance), and increased resources (Increase). “Decrease” was characterized by low, Maintenance by moderate, and Increase by high stress. Age influenced profile membership. While the results failed to support the classic steeling effect, with high stress associated with increased resilience resources, optimal stress was associated with the maintenance of resilience resources.

Abstract

The steeling effect suggests that “optimal” stress positively affects well-being by enhancing resilience. However, there is lack of longitudinal investigations in diverse age groups. The aim was to explore steeling in later life and potential predictors. The sample consisted of N = 195 participants. A 1-year longitudinal survey study was conducted. Sociodemographics, experienced stress, resilience resources, and satisfaction with life were assessed. Latent profile analysis was used to identify profiles that differ in the change of resilience resources over time and to examine differences between the profiles across the other study variables. Three profiles emerged: decreased resources (Decrease), stability of resources (Maintenance), and increased resources (Increase). “Decrease” was characterized by low, Maintenance by moderate, and Increase by high stress. Age influenced profile membership. While the results failed to support the classic steeling effect, with high stress associated with increased resilience resources, optimal stress was associated with the maintenance of resilience resources.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:German
Date:29 August 2019
Deposited On:25 Sep 2019 14:15
Last Modified:01 Oct 2019 11:38
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0091-4150
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0091415019871202
PubMed ID:31464147
Project Information:
  • : Funderacobs Foundation
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title

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