Predicting perceived stress and resilience: the role of differentiation of self
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Üsküdar University, Istanbul, Turkey
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University, Istanbul, Turkey
Submission date: 2021-01-08
Final revision date: 2021-03-26
Acceptance date: 2021-04-01
Online publication date: 2021-05-17
Publication date: 2021-12-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2021;9(4):289–298
Differentiation of self is a process that describes an individual’s ability to act by separating emotions and thoughts at the internal level as well as the ability to be activated by maintaining the self in intense relationships through the establishment of a balance between autonomy and closeness at the level of interpersonal relations. The aim of this study was to determine the role of the differentiation of self – which is one of the basic concepts of the Bowen family systems theory – in predicting perceived stress and resilience.

Material and methods:
The research study group consisted of 423 individuals who were selected from a Turkish sample using the convenience sampling method. The study data were collected using a demographic form, the Differentiation of Self Inventory-Revised (DSI-R), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS).

The results indicate that as the level of differentiation increases, the perceived stress decreases, and resilience increases. Furthermore, differentiation of self is shown to predict 33% of the perceived stress level and 35.2% of the resilience level.

This study found that differentiation of self predicts the levels of stress that individuals experience and their resilience in stressful situations. The presented findings are meant to serve as a guide for mental health professionals working on coping with anxiety and stress, and increasing resilience in structuring the psychotherapy process.

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