Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Optimism, Adjustment and Appraisals among Adolescents

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Optimism, Adjustment and Appraisals among Adolescents

Article excerpt

Adjustment is a psychological concept which generally refers to "behaviour that permits individuals to meet the demands of the environment" Rathus and Nevid, (1986). More specifically, it is defined as "processes by which individuals respond to environmental pressures and cope with stress" Rathus and Nevid, (1989). Aperson's psychological thinking can have a great impact on behaviour and action relating to their health. More specifically, the personality traits (optimism or pessimism) can influence their perception towards their health. This perception of health status may include aspects of their mental health, diet, exercise, daily hassles, coping, and life satisfaction.

A study by Lai (2009) who tested optimism, health consequences related to stress among Chinese adolescents. Results showed that an increased score in hassles predicted a higher distress score, whereas higher optimism scores predicted lower distress or better mental health. Overall, optimists did better with increasing levels of stress. Hamid, Ahmad, Tasleema, (2011) examined the depression level among adolescents of Kashmir division in relation to sex and rural/urban dichotomy. A sample of 600 adolescents of Kashmir division by using random sampling technique was selected to measure the depression among adolescents, a self-report scale developed by the centre for epidemiologic studies of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was used. The analysis of the data showed that there was no significant (t= -1.54) difference between rural and urban adolescents on depression while it was found that male and female adolescents shows a significant (t= -3.83) difference on depression. Depression among female was found higher than that of male due to the reason that they feel insecurity in terms of status, power etc.

Gombor and Vas (2008) studied motives for Internet use and life satisfaction. For this purpose a sample of 300 medical students were taken and administered questionnaires connected to Internet motives and Satisfaction with Life Scale. The sample consisted of 150 Hungarian (75 males and 75 females) and 150 Israeli (75 males and 75 females) medical students. Results showed that the Israeli students scored high on the life satisfaction scale. There was an interesting gendered-based difference between the samples showing that life satisfaction was highest for the Israeli females while in the Hungarian sample it was higher for the males.

Benedetto, Lindner, Aucote, Churcher, McKenzie, Craning and Jenkins (2014) evaluate the role of coping resources, depression, diet and exercise on mental and physical health status. The sample consisted of 113 participants (59 females and 54 males) with a mean age of 59.38 years (SD = 10.52). Coping resources, depression and exercise explained 52 and 26% of the variance in mental and physical health status, respectively. Fewer coping resources predicted higher levels of depression and both predicted worse mental health. Only higher levels of depression predicted worse physical health status. There were also significant indirect effects of coping on mental andphysical health status through depression.

In another study where Porte llo and Long (2001) studied women managers' psychosomatic distress level and it was found to be affected by their primary appraisal. Folkman, lazarus, Gruen, and Delongis (1986) found that aggregated measures of appraisals and different coping strategies associated with stressful encounters were significantly related to measures of psychological and physical adjustment.

In lazarus and Folkman's (1984) stress and coping model of adjustment, personality variables such as dispositional optimism are not considered to be the strongest determinants of situation specific coping or adjustment ( eg, Mccrae and Costa, 1986). Rather, these investigators have argued that coping with a stressful situation is initially determined by appraisals regarding the encounter, which in turn determine coping response and adjustment. …

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