Do different types of negative events lead to distinct adaptive functioning threats?

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Psychology
Author Mansfield, Cade D.
Title Do different types of negative events lead to distinct adaptive functioning threats?
Date 2015
Description The different negative events that people experience may threaten distinct forms of adaptive functioning. A growing literature on the narrative study of self and well-being suggests that one way people may resolve adaptive functioning threats is through narrative meaning-making. However, past research shows that meaning-making is not always linked to salutary effects. Meaning-making may be most likely to restore adaptive functioning when people's narratives address specific threats associated with specific types of negative event. However, we know little about the types of threats that may be tied to different negative events. The current studies used an online, experimental, repeated measures design to test which types of adaptive functioning threats are linked to what types of negative events. Understanding whether particular adaptive functioning threats are tied to specific negative events may provide a framework for theorizing about the most beneficial types of meanings to be made when narrating specific negative events. Participants spent 2 minutes recalling four negative events: actor/competence, target/competence, actor/relatedness, target/relatedness (event order was randomized). Afterwards, each participant responded to a battery of adaptive functioning measures. Study 1 examined these topics in an undergraduate student sample. Study 2 examined these topics using a community sample of MTurk workers who ranged from 20 to 69 years of age. In addition to testing the extent to which different types of threats arise in different types of events, we also tested the extent to which individual differences mitigated threat-level perceived. In Study 1, we examined the impact of psychological well-being and emotional stability on levels of threat. In Study 2, we also examined age as an individual difference. Different negative events led to distinct adaptive functioning threats when individual differences were not accounted for. However, the majority of the variance in levels of perceived threat was explained by individual differences in well-being, emotional stability, and age. Overall, this pattern of findings suggests the importance of idiographic methods for understanding how people perceive negative events. Furthermore, the pattern suggests that beneficial meaning-making is likely a person-specific, as opposed to event-specific, process.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Meaning Making; Narrative; Negative Events; Personality; Transgression; Well-being; Personality psychology
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management ©Cade D. Mansfield
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 27,594 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/4023
ARK ark:/87278/s69342hd
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-08-03
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 197573
Reference URL
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