Is benefit finding good for your health? Pathways linking positive life changes after stress and physical health outcomes

Julienne E. Bower, Judith Tedlie Moskowitz, Elissa Epel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

After experiencing a stressful or traumatic event, many individuals report positive changes in their lives, or benefit finding. Preliminary evidence suggests that benefit finding may lead to improvements in physical health. However, the mechanisms linking benefit finding to physical health outcomes have not been determined. This article describes an integrative model that identifies specific psychological and physiological pathways through which benefit finding may affect physical health. The underlying premise of the model is that benefit finding leads to more adaptive, efficient responses to future stressors, limiting exposure to stress hormones that may have damaging effects on long-term health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • Benefit finding
  • Enhanced allostasis
  • Health
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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