Contributors to the Appraisal of Major Life Changes: Gender, Perceived Controllability, Sensation Seeking, Strain, and Social Support


The authors wish to thank Dr. Andrew Baum and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on a previous draft of this paper. Address all correspondence to Randall S. Jorgensen, Ph.D., Syracuse University, Department of Psychology, 430 Huntington Hall, Syracuse, New York, 13244-2340.


This study investigated relationships between the appraisal of life events and gender, locus of control, social support, strain, and sensation seeking. In group sessions, undergraduate males and females completed self-report measures assessing life events appraisals and self-report measures for the above individual differences. Analyses supported the notion that a range of these variables, previously shown to serve as moderators of life stress, are significantly related to the appraisals of life events. Moreover, in addition to the gender differences obtained for the perception of life events, gender was found to influence several associations between the individual differences and life events appraisal.