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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Gary Howells

First Committee Member

Esther Cohen

Second Committee Member

Doug Matheson


Previous studies have independently identified positive life events and the hardy personality as variables that reduce the influence of life stress on physical or paychological disturbance. The present study investigates the possible stress buffering effects of hardiness and positive events. Seventy-five undergraduates, identified as having dental anxiety, were randomly assigned to one of five film groups. Groups viewed either a positive film, a negative film, both films (in one of two sequences), or no film. Dependent measures of dental anxiety. positive affect, negative affect, and heart rate were observed. Multiple tests of a priori hypotheses yielded partial support for the adaptive value of positive events. Hardiness was found to be significantly correlated with positive affect but with no other dependent variables. Results suggest that positive events and hardiness may play a role in the moderation of stressful events but further research is recommended.





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