This longitudinal, quasi-field experiment tested whether perceived stress and increase in perceived stress are related to the resources of the individual, namely, personality (core self evaluation scale (CSES)), physical fitness, social support (acceptance and/or rejection by peers), and cognitive abilities. Perceived stress scale (PSS) was administered at two points in time to participants in a two-day selection process for a military unit, whose stressful environment formed the manipulation in this study. Baseline PSS was obtained from soldiers before the selection activity, when threatened with resource loss. PSS was next administered during the selection activity, when individuals had to cope with actual loss of resources and difficulty in regaining them. As expected, participants perceived more stress during the selection activity. Participants with higher CSES, higher cognitive abilities and higher levels of social support perceived lower stress levels prior to the activity. The increase in stress level was lower for participants with better fitness levels, but greater for participants rejected by their peers. Exploratory analysis of resource overlap was conducted and revealed a contribution of few key resources to coping, even in the presence of other resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Psychology (all)
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management