Stress resilience across the adult lifespan: Linking dynamic day-to-day protective factors to aging and health

Canada is experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift with the aging of the population. Older adults face major stressors and life transitions (e.g., retirement, bereavement, caregiving), in addition to accumulated biological wear-and-tear due to a lifetime of exposure to stress.

Yet, the impacts of stress vary between people and across situations. It is therefore important to identify protective factors that may promote more adaptive stress responses, particularly in midlife and late adulthood when risks increase for aging-related diseases.

The proposed program of research will focus on stress resilience factors in daily life (positive events and sleep) that may mitigate the impacts of stress on health and aging. Research studies will examine the stress-buffering effects of daily positive events and sleep, positive events as protective factors for aging and health disparities, and the development of a mobile intervention to cope with stress as it unfolds.

This research will contribute to a better understanding of stress resilience and health in the context of adult development and aging. Findings will inform strategies to reduce stress-related health conditions and to promote optimal aging among Canadians.