SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 6.1: Unger, C. A., Busse, D., & Yim, I. S. (2017). The effect of guided relaxation on cortisol and affect: Stress reactivity as a moderator. Journal of Health Psychology, 22, 29-38.

Abstract: Stress-reduction interventions have been linked with enhanced well-being and health. This study examined affect and cortisol in 111 individuals randomly assigned to a single 35-minute guided relaxation or a stress management lecture control group. Positive affect increased more in the relaxation compared to the control group (F = 6.62, p = .01). Dispositional stress reactivity had a moderating influence (R2  = .248, p < .001), such that individuals high in stress reactivity showed highest increases in positive affect to the relaxation. Results indicate that a single guided relaxation intervention improves positive affect among individuals high in stress reactivity.


Journal Article 6.2: Toussaint, L., Shields, G. S., Dorn, G., & Slavich, G. M. (2016). Effects of lifetime stress exposure on mental and physical health in young adulthood: How stress degrades and forgiveness protects health. Journal of Health Psychology, 21, 1004-1014.

Abstract: To examine risk and resilience factors that affect health, lifetime stress exposure histories, dispositional forgiveness levels, and mental and physical health were assessed in 148 young adults. Greater lifetime stress severity and lower levels of forgiveness each uniquely predicted worse mental and physical health. Analyses also revealed a graded Stress × Forgiveness interaction effect, wherein associations between stress and mental health were weaker for persons exhibiting more forgiveness. These data are the first to elucidate the interactive effects of cumulative stress severity and forgiveness on health, and suggest that developing a more forgiving coping style may help minimize stress-related disorders.