Women's daily physical health symptoms and stressful experiences across adulthood

Melanie Horn Mallers, David M. Almeida, Shevaun D. Neupert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study investigated the extent to which the experience of daily stressors was related to women's age and daily health symptomology, such as flu and cold symptoms. Respondents were 562 women (aged 25-74) who were a part of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE), a telephone diary study examining daily stressful events. The respondents were interviewed by telephone on eight consecutive nights, which resulted in a total of 3978 days of information analysed. Overall, women had at least one physical symptom on 59% of the study days and at least one daily stressor on 40% of the study days. Results from a series of ANOVAs showed that young and middle-aged women reported more frequent physical symptoms than did the older women. This age pattern was similar to the incidence of daily stressful experiences. Furthermore, daily stressors, specifically interpersonal tensions, were shown to significantly mediate the age-symptom relationship. These findings suggest that women who are exposed to events that threaten their interpersonal relationships are at a greater risk for symptoms of ill-health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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