Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 1989

Abstract

This study examined psychological, behavioral, environmental, and sociodemographic predictors of health status in 87 mid-life women participating in a longitudinal investigation. Correlates of good health were found to be an optimistic disposition, internal locus of control, education, income, employment outside the home, moderate exercise, and adequate sleep. Variables negatively related to health were stress, external locus of control, packyears of smoking, post-menopausal status, body mass index, and anger symptomatology. Age and social support variables were not related to health status, nor were the anger-in, anger-out, and anger-discuss modes of expressing anger. The regression model accounted for 56% of the variance in health status. The majority of subjects reported severe daily hassles. High stress and anger somatization were significantly correlated. The findings suggest that a segment of women in mid-life enjoy less than optimal health while experiencing high levels of stress and expressing anger in ways which not only fail to accomplish problem resolution, but which also may alienate significant others. These results have implications for counseling and for future research. References and tables are included.

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