The moderating effect of optimism on the relation between hassles and somatic complaints.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-894
Journal / PublicationPsychological Reports
Issue number3 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995


The relations between hassles, dispositional optimism, and prospective reports of physical symptoms were examined in a group of 90 Hong Kong undergraduates. Given that most hassle scales are confounded by physical and psychological symptomatology, a decontaminated scale specifically tailored to the experiences of college students was used. Multiple regression analyses indicated that hassle scores and the interaction of hassles and optimism uniquely and reliably predicted symptom reporting. Optimism, however, did not reliably predict symptom reports when effects of hassles and the interaction of hassles and optimism were controlled. Inspection of the interaction showed that optimism predicted symptom scores only at high levels of hassles. The underlying mechanisms were discussed in the light of previous data linking optimism and adaptational outcomes via coping. It was suggested that further pursuit of the connection between optimism and coping in relation to measures of life stress would be worthwhile.