The Mediator of Stress Response

A recent study questions if copying mediated the relationship between the stress mindset and psychological stress responses. A stress mindset refers to the ideology that stress is enhancing, viewing the stressful situation as a challenge rather than a threat. Psychological stress can be conceptualized as helplessness and irritability.

The hypotheses that were tested were that stronger stress enhancing mindset is correlated to less emotional expression and problem-solving skills. This is associated with lower levels of depression and helplessness. An example is individuals with stress is enhancing mindset choose avoidance coping strategies. In addition, when stress is viewed as weakening it is associated with coping strategies this leads to higher levels of psychological stress responses. Further, when stress is viewed as “enhancing,” it allows for stress to promote learning and growth. In comparison, when stress is viewed as “debilitating,” it creates a negative experience as well as vulnerability.

The participants involved in the study were thirty males and ninety-four females with a mean age of 20.4 years. The stress mindset and psychological stress responses were measured using questionnaires.

The result was the emotional expression partially mediated the relationship between the stress is weakening mindset and increased irritability levels. Overall, the results provide initial evidence that a stress mindset is related to psychological responses through coping strategies.

The article noted that coping strategies are encompassed within four categories, which are an emotional expression, seeking emotional support, cognitive reinterpretation, and problem-solving. The first emotional expression refers to visually acting out one’s current emotional state i.e smiling or frowning. Emotional support includes family members, friends, and deeper relationships that allow for vulnerability. The term cognitive reinterpretation refers to positive thinking, and problem-solving refers to identifying possible solutions that one has control over.

Lastly, there is a direct connection between how an individual views stress and stressful situations and if the individuals decide to cope. Individuals who view stress as enchanting are less likely to cope and get resources. Whereas individuals who view stress as vulnerability are more likely to get help and gain access to resources. The research concludes with an expansion behind this correlation, where the mindset weights positive events stronger relative to negative events. Identifying stressors and establishing coping strategies are key to bettering one’s mental health.

Article by: Alexis Takagi

Works Cited

Horiuchi, S., Tsuda, A., Aoki, S., Yoneda, K., & Sawaguchi, Y. (2018, March 1). Coping as a mediator of the relationship between stress mindset and psychological stress response: a pilot study. Retrieved from ​​.


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