The contribution of perceived personal and social resources to stress mediation

Carol Bates Greenman, Fordham University


This study investigated the role played by perceived social and personal resources, appraisal and coping in the mediation of examination stress. These resources have been implicated in the stress mediation process (Folkman et al., 1986; Pearlin et al., 1981; Procidano & Heller, 1983), but the ways in which they influence each other and outcome measures has not been determined. Examination stress was studied to provide an objectively uniform event against which perceived resources could be judged.^ A total of 112 subjects completed questionnaires within 48 hours of one college examination, 83 returned to complete questionnaires before a second. Subjects were evaluated with the following instruments: Perceived Support from Family and from Friends (PssFa and PssFr) (Procidano & Heller, 1983), self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965), primary appraisal of the impending stressor as threatening (Papp), a measure of whether they perceived the stressor as controllable (Control), active and passive coping strategies (Folkman et al., 1986), Hopkins Symptom Checklist (Derogatis et al., 1974), and the Test Anxiety Inventory (TA) (Spielberger, 1980). Data analyses included path models that might explain the mediating influences of variables upon each other.^ PssFa and PssFr, although not related to test anxiety, functioned as resources, promoting self esteem and relating negatively to symptoms, Papp, and passive coping strategies. The negative influence of esteem on TA and symptoms was mediated by Papp. Control was negatively related to TA and mediated the negative influence of prior grades on TA. Both active and passive coping were related positively to symptoms and TA, and did not mediate the influence of other variables. These relationships were replicated at Time 2 of data collection.^ These findings suggest that subjects' cognitions about themselves and how they expect to be affected by a stressful event contribute to the degree of distress they ultimately experience. ^

Subject Area

Social psychology|Clinical psychology|Personality psychology

Recommended Citation

Greenman, Carol Bates, "The contribution of perceived personal and social resources to stress mediation" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9127033.