Title

Can Positive Thinking Help? Positive Automatic Thoughts as Moderators of the Stress-Meaning Relationship

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test whether positive automatic cognitions moderated the relationship between event stressfulness and meaning in life. Measures of these constructs were administered to 232 students and community-dwelling adults. Supporting hypotheses and the literature, positive automatic cognitions moderated the relationship between event stressfulness and meaning in life. For persons with high levels of positive thinking, greater event stressfulness was associated with higher meaning in life. For persons with low levels of positive thinking, greater event stressfulness was associated with lower meaning in life. These results were obtained when controlling for positive affect, as well as the positive affect × event stressfulness interaction. The positive cognitions × event stressfulness interaction accounted for 2.9% of variance, and the overall model accounted for 47% of the variance in meaning in life. © 2012 American Orthopsychiatric Association.

Publication Title

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

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