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Type: Journal article
Title: How do young people experience stress? A qualitative investigation of the indicators of distress and eustress in adolescents
Author: Branson, V.
Turnbull, D.
Dry, M.J.
Palmer, E.
Citation: International Journal of Stress Management, 2019; 26(3):321-329
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1072-5245
Statement of
Victoria Branson, Deborah Turnbull, Matthew J. Dry, and Edward Palmer
Abstract: Extant literature describes stress as an unavoidable occurrence that can be bifurcated into both negative and positive aspects, known as distress and eustress. Despite this theoretical conceptualisation, there are no measures of adolescent stress encompassing both aspects of the construct. In pursuing the creation of such a measure the current study explored young peoples’ experience of stress, describing the phenomena adolescents identify as salient indicators of both distress and eustress. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 adolescents; thematic analysis of the transcripts focussed on those indicators useful for discriminating between distress and eustress. Six key dimensions were proposed, along which eustress and distress were differentiated in adolescents: State of Mind, Function, Perceived Efficacy, Affect, Constitution, and Connection. While many of these identified phenomena were comparable to those proposed by the adult-focussed literature, the participants demonstrated a range of distinctive perspectives. Unlike adults, the adolescents considered personal connections and self-regard as salient indicators of the stress response, while meaningfulness was not considered a pertinent phenomenon. These idiosyncrasies emphasise the inappropriateness of directly translating adult-focussed literature to the adolescent context and robustly reiterate the need for a measure of stress that reflects and respects young peoples’ unique experiences.
Keywords: Distress; eustress; qualitative; adolescent
Description: This article was published Online First July 19, 2018.
Rights: © 2018 American Psychological Association
RMID: 0030131034
DOI: 10.1037/str0000102
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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