Life Stress, Hassles, and Self-Efficacy in Aging: A Replication and Extension1


  • 1

    This study was supported by a grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to Carole K. Holahan and Charles J. Holahan. The authors wish to thank Zelma Gandy, Michael David Rudd, Karen Boeke, Steven Brown, and Rebecca Robinson for their assistance in carrying out this research.


This study examines the roles of life stress, hassles, and self-efficacy in the prediction of adjustment in aging. Twenty-six men and 26 women between the ages of 65 and 75 participated in an initial structured interview and a follow-up interview one year later. Measures of negative life change events, daily hassles, and self-efficacy were used to predict depression, psychosomatic symptoms, and negative well-being both in concurrent and time-lag designs. Frequency of hassles was the strongest predictor, showing significant relationships with depression and psychosomatic symptoms both concurrently and one year later, even when initial distress was controlled. Perceived self-efficacy was also shown to be predictive of current and subsequent depression, even after initial depression was controlled. Frequency of negative life events was a weak predictive factor. The only area where life events related significantly to health was in time-lag analyses with negative well-being, even when initial distress was controlled.