We examined the stress-buffering effects of the 'sense of coherence' among 116 undergraduates (70 females and 46 males) with a mean age of 18.6 years. Self-reported physical well-being and psychological distress were assessed on two occasions separated by two months. Assessment of the sense of coherence occurred at time-one, whereas assessment of negative life-events for the past year occurred at time-two. Sense of coherence correlated negatively with negative life events and reported psychological symptoms of both occasions, and negative life events correlated positively with both assessments of psychological distress. Negative life events correlated positively with physical ailments reported for both occasions only among students low in sense of coherence; this significant correlation persisted after accounting for the relationship between psychological and physical symptoms. We discuss the possible salubrious effects of a sense of coherence on the health appraisals of young adults experiencing stress.
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