Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Mark Speechley

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Cheryl Forchuk

Joint Supervisor


Background: Although stress has been linked to poor mental health outcomes for various populations, less is known about the impact of stress on individuals already diagnosed with mental disorders. Objective: Explore the association between stress and general psychological distress (GPD), using the stress process model. Design: Data were collected in 2011 from community-dwelling adults who have had at least one diagnosed mental disorder for at least one year in their lifetime (n=380), and are cross-sectional in nature. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the association between stress and GPD, with various psychological resources, such as coping, social support, and mastery, tested as potential mediators or moderators. Results: Stress is significantly associated with GPD, and when all psychological resources are considered together, they mediate, but do not moderate, this association. Conclusions: The stress process model applies to individuals with mental disorders, although with different mediators compared to the general population.