Social Skills and Negative Life Events: Testing the Deficit Stress Generation Hypothesis

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30 Scopus citations


People who possess poor social skills have been hypothesized to experience negative events and consequently become vulnerable to psychosocial problems. This is characterized as the social skills deficit stress generation hypothesis. Two studies were conducted to examine this hypothesis. In study 1, 677 university students completed measures of social skills and negative life events that had occurred over the past three months. In study 2, 142 students participated in a 9 month, 3 wave longitudinal study that assessed social skills at times 1 and 3 and negative life events at times 2 and 3. Results of the investigations indicate generally negative associations between social skills and negative life events, but these associations were stronger concurrently than prospectively. Although social skills were predicted to be associated with negative life events that are social in nature, in most cases they were equally predictive of nonsocial negative life events. The associations between the social skills and life events were consistently small in magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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