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Linking Stressful Experiences and Psychological Problems: The Role of Self-Esteem

This article was written by the IDA student Lisanne de Moor and her colleagues Roos Hutteman, Kees Korrelboom and Odilia M. Laceulle. 

Stressful experiences have repeatedly been related to psychological problems. The current study extends previous work on stress and psychological problems by examining the link between stressful experiences and both internalizing (INT) and externalizing (EXT) problems. Additionally, individual differences are investigated by testing the moderating role of self-esteem. Questionnaire data of 750 adolescents aged 12–18 were collected and analyzed using multiple regression analyses. Analyses were controlled for sex and socioeconomic status. Results indicated that adolescents who report more stressful experiences are more likely to experience both INT and EXT problems, and these relationships were stronger for adolescents with low self-esteem. Post hoc analyses (e.g., different thresholds for determining stressful experiences) support the robustness of our findings. The findings on self-esteem emphasize the importance of taking individual differences into account in the relation between stressful experiences and psychological problems. The results can be seen as a next step in cross-sectional research.

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de Moor, E. L., Hutteman, R., Korrelboom, K., & Laceulle, O. M. (2019). Linking Stressful Experiences and Psychological Problems: The Role of Self-Esteem. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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