Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Julie Hicks Patrick

Committee Co-Chair

Barry Edelstein

Committee Member

Amy Gentzler

Committee Member

JoNell Strough

Committee Member

Laurie Theeke


Little research has examined short-term change in self-assessed health (SAH), limiting what is known about the influence of daily life on these personal health evaluations. Investigating short-term change in SAH can add to our understanding of the ways in which SAH relates to future health outcomes. Therefore, the current study sought to examine change and stability in SAH across the day and across the week in an age-diverse community sample (n = 57, ranging in age from 25 - 71 years, 52.6% female). Age, gender, and neuroticism were hypothesized to systematically influence short-term fluctuation in SAH. Daily hassles and uplifts represented contextual influences on SAH and were investigated using an experience sampling approach. Participants responded to short surveys four times per day for 14 days ( M = 46.82 time points completed, SD = 6.66, range = 34 - 56). SAH did modestly fluctuate throughout the day for the majority of participants (73.7%; M daily fluctuation = 0.24 standard units). Neuroticism, but not age or gender, was negatively related to mean levels of SAH (r (n = 57) = -.34, p = .009), but not stability (r (n = 57) = -.045, p = .74). In regard to context, the results suggested that the relations among daily events and SAH are complex. Patterns of relations among hassles, uplifts, and SAH were inconsistent across the day and across participants. There was, however, more compelling evidence to support the influence of uplifting events on SAH compared to events perceived as hassles. Affect (positive and negative) may contribute to the relation by influencing the interpretative context in which uplifts are evaluated and translated into SAH. Future research should determine whether stability and minor daily fluctuations in SAH have repercussions for other health outcomes. Factors that may alter the association between SAH and uplifts, such as preoccupation with earlier events, should also be examined.