Stressor diversity: Introduction and empirical integration into the daily stress model

Rachel E. Koffer, Nilam Ram, David E. Conroy, Aaron L. Pincus, David M. Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The present study examined whether and how stressor diversity, the extent to which stressor events are spread across multiple types of stressors, contributes to daily affective well-being through the adult life span. Stressor diversity was examined as a unique predictor of daily affect and as a moderator of stressor exposure and stressor reactivity effects. Analyses span 2 independent studies of daily stress: the National Study of Daily Experiences with N = 2,022 adults, aged 33 to 85 years, assessed over T = 8 days, and the Intraindividual Study of Affect, Health, and Interpersonal Behavior with N = 150 adults, aged 18 to 89 years, assessed over T = 63 days. Across both studies, older age was associated with less stressor diversity. Additionally, multivariate multilevel models indicated higher stressor diversity was linked with better affective well-being. Age, however, was not a consistent moderator of such associations. The combination of low stressor diversity and high stressor exposure is discussed as an operationalization of chronic stressors, and this combination was associated with particularly high negative affect and low positive affect. We believe further work will benefit from including both the frequency and diversity of stressor experiences in analyses in order to better characterize individuals' stressor experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-320
Number of pages20
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Daily stress
  • Entropy
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Negative affect
  • Positive affect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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