Negative affectivity and the reporting of stressful life events.

J. F. Brett, A. P. Brief, M. J. Burke, J. M. George, J. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Maddi, Bartone, and Puccetti (1987) and Schroeder and Costa (1984) reported inconsistent findings regarding the impact of negative affectivity (NA; i.e., neuroticism) contaminated life event items on observed life event-illness relationships. Here, unlike the previous studied, such contaminated items were nonjudgmentally identified. Among a sample of managers and professionals, it was found that NA-contaminated items correlated significantly with three measures of well-being (depression, life satisfaction, and physical symptoms) and that uncontaminated items were unassociated with the well-being indicators. Moreover, in two of three cases, the correlations between contaminated items and the well-being measures were significantly different from the correlations between uncontaminated items and the well-being indicators. Therefore, we concluded that prior life event-well-being findings are inflated considerably by the use of NA-contaminated events. Suggestions for future life events research that incorporate the NA construct are detailed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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