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Stress Generation in Depression: Three Studies on Its Resilience, Possible Mechanism, and Symptom Specificity

Three longitudinal studies examined several issues related to stress generation in depressive symptoms among undergraduates, with emphasis on mechanisms of stress generation. Study 1 replicated the stress generation effect reported in past research. Study 2 replicated Study 1's findings and, furthermore, supported the symptom specificity of stress generation to depressive versus anxious symptoms, and, perhaps most important, found that increases in hopelessness fully accounted for the stress generation finding, raising the possibility that depressive symptoms generate the perception but not the occurrence of stress. Study 3 addressed this possibility and rejected it in favor of the view that hopelessness may be a key aspect of depression in driving the generation of actual stress.

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