Positive Affect in the Midst of Distress: Implications for Role Functioning
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume 22, Issue 6, pages 502–518, November/December 2012
How to Cite
Moskowitz, J. T., Shmueli-Blumberg, D., Acree, M. and Folkman, S. (2012), Positive Affect in the Midst of Distress: Implications for Role Functioning. J. Community. Appl. Soc. Psychol., 22: 502–518. doi: 10.1002/casp.1133
- Issue published online: 2 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 NOV 2011
- Pediatric Clinical Research Center. Grant Numbers: NIMH/NINR 58069, NIMH 068170, M01 RR01271
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Postdoctoral Training in Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Research at the University of California, San Francisco. Grant Number: T32 DA-007250
- NIDA-funded San Francisco Treatment Research Center. Grant Number: P50 DA009253
- State of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program. Grant Number: 16FT-0050
- positive emotions;
Stress has been shown to deplete the self-regulation resources hypothesized to facilitate effective role functioning. However, recent research suggests that positive affect may help to replenish these vital self-regulation resources. Based on the revised Stress and Coping theory and the Broaden-and-Build theory of positive emotion, three studies provide evidence of the potential adaptive function of positive affect in the performance of roles for participants experiencing stress. Participants were students (Study 1), caregivers of children with illness (Study 2), and individuals recently diagnosed with HIV (Study 3). In cross-sectional analyses, using role functioning as an indicator of self-regulation performance, we found that positive affect was significantly correlated with better self-regulation performance, independent of the effects of negative affect. The effects were not as strong longitudinally, however, and there was little evidence of a reciprocal association between increases in positive affect and improvements in role functioning over time. The results provide some modest support for hypotheses stemming from the Broaden-and-Build model of positive emotion and revised Stress and Coping theory, both of which argue for unique adaptive functions of positive affect under stressful conditions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.