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THE INFLUENCE OF PESSIMISTIC EXPLANATORY STYLE ON THE RELATION BETWEEN STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS AND HOSPITAL DOCTORS' PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS

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Abstract:

This study examined the influence of pessimistic explanatory style (PES) on the relation between stressful events and psychological distress, first as a moderator with an interaction term, and secondly as a mediator between stressful events and psychological distress. A demographic questionnaire, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12; Goldberg & Williams, 1991), the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS; Holmes & Masuda, 1974), and the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ; Peterson, 1995) were completed by 121 hospital doctors, 70 men and 51 women, aged 23–65 years (M = 37.2, SD = 1.2). There were no significant differences in mean GHQ psychological distress scores between groups for sex, domestic status, employment status or grade. Stressful events were positively associated with PES, and both were positively associated with psychological distress. In the absence of a significant interaction component, multiple regression analyses did not support explanatory style as a moderator, but did support it as a mediator in the relationship between stressful events and psychological distress. Findings were discussed in terms of helping doctors to alter their explanatory styles and possibly attenuate the influence of stressful events on their psychological distress.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.3.259

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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