Event Title

Young Adults’ Resilience and Emotional Reactions to Life Situations

Poster Number

087

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

We examined adults’ responses to a variety of life events, specifically comparing the emotional reactions of those who experienced the event to those who imagined it. We also examined whether resiliency reduced emotional responsiveness to the events. Participants were 108 young adults (78% women; 53% Caucasian) with a mean age of 21.10 (SD = 3.24). Participants were presented with eleven life events and asked to indicate if they had personally experienced the event or not. Participants who had not experienced the event were instructed to imagine experiencing the event. Next, participants reported how they would respond/cope with the event and how their parents did (or would) respond. Participants also responded to the Devereux Adult Resilience Scale. The frequency with which our participants experienced the life events matched what is typical for young adults (e.g., a break-up was more common than a serious medical condition). We found that people emotionally recovered from difficult situations that others imagined they would not be able to survive (e.g., physical abuse, parental divorce, job loss), suggesting that anticipatory fear might be greater than reality and emphasizing the ability of humans to overcome challenging life situations. Only the experiences of losing a pet and ending a serious romantic relationship were worse than imagination. People high in resilience believed that they handled life events better than others, although their actual responses were no different. Gender predicted emotional reactions more than age or race. These findings add to our understanding of young adults’ typical experiences and emotional coping.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Course Assignment

PSYC 471 – Sleigh

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Young Adults’ Resilience and Emotional Reactions to Life Situations

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

We examined adults’ responses to a variety of life events, specifically comparing the emotional reactions of those who experienced the event to those who imagined it. We also examined whether resiliency reduced emotional responsiveness to the events. Participants were 108 young adults (78% women; 53% Caucasian) with a mean age of 21.10 (SD = 3.24). Participants were presented with eleven life events and asked to indicate if they had personally experienced the event or not. Participants who had not experienced the event were instructed to imagine experiencing the event. Next, participants reported how they would respond/cope with the event and how their parents did (or would) respond. Participants also responded to the Devereux Adult Resilience Scale. The frequency with which our participants experienced the life events matched what is typical for young adults (e.g., a break-up was more common than a serious medical condition). We found that people emotionally recovered from difficult situations that others imagined they would not be able to survive (e.g., physical abuse, parental divorce, job loss), suggesting that anticipatory fear might be greater than reality and emphasizing the ability of humans to overcome challenging life situations. Only the experiences of losing a pet and ending a serious romantic relationship were worse than imagination. People high in resilience believed that they handled life events better than others, although their actual responses were no different. Gender predicted emotional reactions more than age or race. These findings add to our understanding of young adults’ typical experiences and emotional coping.