This application seeks support to extend a national investigation of daily stressors and well-being (Project 2) by collecting data from a new sample of respondents (25-54 years of age). These additional participants (n = 800) will be randomly chosen from the new cohort proposed by the MIDUS Project 1 survey. The subsample will be comprised of 600 random digit dialed (RDD) participants and 200 African American participants from the Milwaukee sample. The Project 2 participants will be compared to respondents of the same age from the first wave of data collection conducted approximately 15 years eariier. A sample of adults spanning the same age range as the initial sampling period will allow us to assess the effects of the recent economic recession on daily well-being. Some age groups may be particularly vulnerable to an economic downturn. Younger adults who are beginning their careers may be particularly at risk for distress and economic concern. Individuals low in socioeconomic status may also lack the resources to weather an unstable economy.
The specific aims are (1) To assess age differences and period effects in the links between multiple aspects of daily stressors and daily well-being among people aged 25-54 in 1995/1996 compared to people aged 25-54 in 2011/2012;(2) To examine how vulnerability and resilience factors influence exposure and reactivity to daily stressors, and how these associations may be moderated by age and period effects;(3) To investigate age and period differences in associations between self-reported daily stress processes and disruption of diurnal rhythms of salivary Cortisol and sulfated dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA-S), hormones ofthe stressresponsive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, as well as salivary alpha amylase (sAA), a biological marker of the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) axis;(4) To assess the extent to which daily stressors impact two different aspects of everyday cognition: cognitive interference (e.g., intrusive thoughts) and memory failures. These new respondents will follow the same protocol as the previous Project 2 cohort, a protocol consisting of an 8-day telephone diary study of self-reported daily stress and well-being combined with multiple daily assessments of saliva (4 occasions x 4 days). The new Project 2 respondents will also participate in the other MIDUS Projects. A rich set of sociodemographic, physical health, personality, and cognitive measures assessed by Projects 1 and 3 will be used to predict exposure, as well as physical and emotional reactivity to daily stressors. In addition, data from Projects 4 and 5 will allow us to examine how daily stress processes measured in Project 2 are related to neurobiological indicators of health.

Public Health Relevance

The overarching goal is to better understand how daily stressors influence psychological and physical health in the United States. Furthermore, we seek to identify socioedemographic factors (e.g., gender and education), personal characteristics (e.g., personality), and historic period effects (e.g. economic recession) that make individuals more vulnerable or resilient to the health effects of daily stressors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group (NIA)
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University of Wisconsin Madison
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