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This study examined the role of social problem solving as a moderator and a mediator of the relationship between daily stressful events and adjustment in a sample of 259 college students. Problem solving was assessed by the Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised, which provides scores for global problem-solving ability as well as five specific problem-solving dimensions, namely, positive problem orientation, negative problem orientation, rational problem solving (i.e., effective problem-solving skills), impulsivity/carelessness style, and avoidance style. Adjustment was assessed by using the scores for internalizing symptoms and externalizing symptoms from the Adult Self-Report. Because of significant gender differences on the major study variables, results were analyzed separately for men and women. The most consistent finding was for the importance of negative problem orientation as a moderator or a mediator of the relationship between daily stress and adjustment. In women, negative problem orientation, impulsivity/carelessness style, and avoidance style were all found to mediate internalizing and externalizing symptoms. In addition, positive problem orientation mediated internalizing symptoms. In men, negative problem orientation was found to be a moderator for externalizing symptoms and a mediator for internalizing symptoms. The gender differences and implications for clinical practice were discussed.
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- The Influence of Social Problem-Solving Ability on the Relationship Between Daily Stress and Adjustment
Alissa C. Bell
Thomas J. D’Zurilla
- Springer US