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Psychologisches Institut Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie

MenStress 40+ – Buffering the effects of vital exhaustion in men

Summary / Zusammenfassung

The prevalence of stress and vital exhaustion in modern societies is incrementally increasing and questions arise about realizable preventions to buffer their negative consequences on health. In particular, vital exhaustion constitutes an adverse prognostic factor for morbidity and mortality. This state of health manifests itself by various symptoms such as unusual fatigue, lack of energy, increased irritability, and feelings of demoralization. The origin of these symptoms is poorly understood, but significant associations have been reported between vital exhaustion and prolonged and uncontrollable psychological stress. Thus suggesting that vital exhaustion reflects a breakdown in adaptation to prolonged stress. Since bio-psychosocial resilience factors play a meaningful role in coping with stressful life events, they might be of central importance for vitally exhausted individuals and might help to characterize people at a higher risk for vital exhaustion. Furthermore, they might explain how the coping with stressors and successful adaptation in the face of stress could be optimized in vitally exhausted men.

In this research project, we will examine bio-psychosocial resilience factors and their major significance for mental and physical health in 120 middle-aged and senior men (40-75yrs) with non-pathological signs of vital exhaustion. The new insights, which will be brought by the study, enable us to clarify differentiated hypotheses for healthy aging and to define biological and psychological markers which might be improved in men with vital exhaustion.

This project is part of the University Research Priority Program „Dynamics of Healthy Aging“ of the University of Zurich (Research group “Psychological Health Interventions”).

Keywords / Suchbegriffe

vital exhaustion, chronic stress, mental health, physical health, men, resilience

Project Leadership and Contacts / Projektleitung und Kontakte

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulrike Ehlert (PI),
M. Sc. Emilou Noser,
M. Sc. Jessica Ruppen,

Funding Source(s) / Unterstützt durch

University Research Priority Program „Dynamics of Healthy Aging“

University of Zurich

Duration of project / Projektdauer

Jan 2016 to Jan 2017