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ERIC Number: EJ941262
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1465
Family Structure, Stress, and Psychological Distress: A Demonstration of the Impact of Differential Exposure
Avison, William R.; Ali, Jennifer; Walters, David
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, v48 n3 p301-317 Sep 2007
In this article, we evaluate the relative power of differential exposure and differential vulnerability to stressors to account for variations in psychological distress between single and married mothers. The data for this assessment are derived from a longitudinal survey of 518 single mothers and 502 married mothers living in London, Ontario, Canada. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses clearly reveal that the higher levels of psychological distress experienced by single mothers compared to married mothers are almost entirely related to their greater exposure to stress and strain rather than to any group differences in vulnerability to stressful experiences. Across a number of different dimensions of social stressors, single mothers are consistently more exposed to these stressors than married mothers are. Moreover, this differential exposure persists over time. In contrast, there is no evidence that single mothers are more vulnerable or reactive to stressors than are married mothers. We discuss these findings in terms of their implications for the sociology of mental health and for primary prevention. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada