Why not everyone gets their fair share of stress: Adolescent's perceived relationship affection mediates associations between temperament and subsequent stressful social events

O. M. Laceulle, B. F. Jeronimus, M. A. G. van Aken, J. Ormel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Temperamental differences are associated with subsequent stressful life events, a phenomenon that has in part been attributed to evocation. However, we remain ignorant about the mechanisms that mediate this process. In the current paper, we test whether differences in ‘perceived relationship affection’ accounted for part of the prospective association between temperament and stressful social event evocation in three social domains, viz. parents, peers and romantic partners. Data were derived from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey, a large population cohort of Dutch adolescents (n = 1158). Parent-reported adolescent temperament and adolescent's perceived affection were assessed at age 11 years. Stressful social events that occurred between age 11 and 16 years were captured using the event history calendar. Results indicate that adolescents evoke subsequent stressful social events based on their temperament, and that this association is partially mediated by perceived affection. Importantly, we found evidence for both generic and domain-specific associations, which indicates that social domains are related yet distinct. Taken together, the findings suggest that a search for mediating variables may be a promising way to increase our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the social stress selection principle, and that perceived relationship affection is one of the candidates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • temperament
  • perceived affection
  • stressful events
  • adolescents
  • prospective study

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