Idiographic bidirectional associations of stressfulness of events and negative affect in daily life as indicators for mental health: An experience sampling study

Jannis T. Kraiss*, Thomas Vaessen, Peter M.ten Klooster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Evidence suggests that complex micro-dynamics occurring in daily life underly the development of mental distress. We aimed to (1) study the cross-lagged association between stressful events and negative affect (NA), (2) show that there is substantial between-person variability in idiographic associations and (3) show that idiographic associations are indicative of mental health. Experience sampling study assessing perceived stressfulness of events (PSE) and NA four times per day for 2 weeks in a non-clinical convenience sample (N = 70, mean age = 22.9, 61% female, 69% German). Bivariate vector autoregressive model implemented in dynamic structural equation modelling to model the associations between stressful events and NA and obtain idiographic associations. Stressfulness of events and NA were significantly reciprocally associated. Autocorrelations and cross-lagged associations from PSE to NA showed substantial variability and were significantly related with trait measures of depression, anxiety, well-being, and perceived stress. Contrary to expectations, cross-lagged associations from NA to stressfulness of events were not related to trait mental health. The approach outlined in this article is useful for studying idiographic dynamics in daily life. The findings increase our understanding of micro-dynamics underlying mental health and individual differences in these processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3433
JournalStress and Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 30 May 2024

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • cross-lagged
  • dynamics
  • idiographic
  • mental health
  • time series
  • within-person
  • autoregression

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