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Models for the Stress-Buffering Functions of Coping Resources

Blair Wheaton
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 26, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 352-364
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136658
Page Count: 13
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Models for the Stress-Buffering Functions of Coping Resources
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Abstract

Recently interest has shifted from the fact of a relationship between social stressors and health outcomes to factors that may buffer the impact of social stressors. Many forms of the stress-resource-adaptation model are possible. This paper argues that there is not one, but at least two distinct versions of the stress-buffering argument. Statistical models corresponding to each of these versions are developed with an emphasis on the interpretive logic of each model. Three other models described are not consistent with the notion of stress-buffering, but are sometimes thought to be. If more than one form of stress-buffering exists, then it is possible that some coping resources play a "dual" buffering role. An illustration of how dual stress-buffering works suggests the importance of searching for such resources. Criteria for delimiting and distinguishing cases of stress-buffering from non-cases are discussed in the final section.

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