The relationship between dispositional optimism, recent life changes and perceived stress in Irish adults

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Authors
McCann, Carmel
Issue Date
2014
Degree
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
Using a between subject, quantitative, survey design, the relationship between dispositional optimism, perceived stress and recent life changes within the Irish population was investigated. A snowball technique was used; invitations to complete an online survey were sent to twenty-eight people who then invited others to also take part. One hundred and ninety-five people, aged from eighteen to sixty-nine; one hundred and thirty-three female and sixty-two males, participated. A significant relationship between dispositional optimism, perceived stress and recent life changes was found. The majority of participants were optimistic and there was a significant negative relationship between dispositional optimism and perceived stress. Older adults were more optimistic and less stressed than younger ones and females were more stressed than males. The female stress levels and low optimism levels of younger adults merit further investigation. Carver’s (2013) Revised Life Orientation Tool measured dispositional optimism; Cohen, Kamarck, and Mermelstein (1983) Perceived Stress Scale measured stress and Miller and Rahe’s (1997) Recent Life Changes Questionnaire measured life-changes.
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