Gender differences in stress manifestations: An analysis of interpersonal dependency and multiple stress outcomes

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Scott Schieman - Committee Chair


Drawing from social psychological theories of stress and strain, I seek to understand gender differences in "internalizing" and "externalizing" manifestations of stress within a representative sample of 1,800 young adults in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Specifically, I examine mediating and moderating relationships between gender, stress, and three outcomes: depression, marijuana use, and criminal behavior. I also assess the extent to which gendered dimensions of interpersonal dependency---emotional reliance and assertion of autonomy---are psychologically beneficial or damaging when examining multiple stress outcomes between and within genders. Findings corroborate previous research that suggests that women average higher depression, men average higher marijuana use and criminal behavior, and stress exposure increases risk for multiple stress outcomes. Additionally, results indicate that the positive influence of stress on marijuana use is more pronounced among young men than women. Moreover, interpersonal dependency dimensions are neither inherently harmful nor helpful when considering moderating effects of gender and stress exposure on multiple stress outcomes. The results speak to the limits of examining single stress outcomes and qualify conditions under which traditionally "feminine" and "masculine" interpersonal attributes may act as psychosocial resources or detriments in the stress process.


Psychology, Social; Health Sciences, Public Health; Psychology, Clinical; Sociology, Criminology and Penology; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text