Stress-Amplifying Effects of Negative Social Exchanges among Female Japanese College Students

By Fukukawa, Yasuyuki | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, July 2012 | Go to article overview

Stress-Amplifying Effects of Negative Social Exchanges among Female Japanese College Students


Fukukawa, Yasuyuki, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


Researchers have found evidence for the contribution of social exchanges to health and well-being. For example, the role of positive social exchanges such as social support has been widely studied (Cantor, 1979; Eckenrode & Hamilton, 2000). Proponents of the stress-buffering effect of social support maintain that support received by an individual from social networks when under stress may intervene between stressors and health by attenuating the individual's stress appraisal response (Cohen & Wills, 1985; House, 1981).

However, taking the perspective that social networks provide an exclusively supportive function, ignores the aspects of relationships that impose a cost, rather than a benefit, on individuals' well-being. Since Rook (1984) pointed out that people in an individual's social networks can be critical and overbearing, several researchers have investigated the effects of negative social exchanges (hereafter called negative exchanges) on individuals' depressive symptoms (Okun & Keith, 1998) and physical health (Edwards, Hershberger, Russell, & Markert, 2001). It has also been argued that negative exchanges may exert a greater effect on individuals' mental health than do positive exchanges (Finch, Okun, Pool, & Ruehlman, 1999; Okun & Keith, 1998).

Although researchers have shown that negative exchanges operate directly to decrease mental health symptoms, less attention has been paid to examining the stress-amplifying effects of negative exchanges, that is, the effects that exacerbate the negative association of stressors with well-being (Shinn, Lehman, & Wong, 1984; Siegel, Raveis, & Karus, 1997). For example, people appear to harbor negative feelings about individuals who are distressed, and to be critical of them for allowing the distressing event to occur in the first place (Krause & Jay, 1991). Social interactions of this kind cause additional stress and, accordingly, result in a worse situation for the individual's mental health.

Adequate empirical support has not been provided in studies concerning the stress-amplifying effects of negative exchanges. Okun, Melichar, and Hill (1990) found that the association between the number of daily negative events and psychological distress was not amplified by negative social exchanges. On the other hand, Vinokur, Price, and Caplan (1996) observed that the financial strain experienced by unemployed persons increased their depressive symptoms by increasing negative exchanges with their partners.

The reason for these inconsistent findings may be, in part, because of the way researchers have conceptualized stressors. Okun et al. (1990) estimated participants' stress levels simply by counting the number of experienced life events. This method is problematic because it is difficult to determine whether the deleterious effects of stress involve a wide range or a few types of events (Krause, 1986). For example, a wife may be critical of her diabetic husband for not following an appropriate diet, because she wants him to engage in beneficial health behaviors (Lewis & Rook, 1999). In this case, negative exchanges with a spouse may result in increasing, rather than decreasing, the well-being of the individual who is suffering from the stress of illness. On the other hand, the aggregation of life event indices would dilute the individual influence of each life event and also obscure the role of negative exchanges that should mediate the association between life event stress and mental health. This idea was illustrated by Vinokur et al. (1996), who found the effect of a specific life event (i.e., financial strain) on depressive symptoms was amplified by negative exchanges of unemployed people with their spouses. However, few empirical investigations of the stress-amplifying effect of negative exchanges in this manner have been conducted.

I have extended the findings recorded in the current literature by examining whether or not negative exchanges increase the effect of either aggregate measures of stressful life events or specific types of life event stressors on depressive symptoms. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Stress-Amplifying Effects of Negative Social Exchanges among Female Japanese College Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.