Self-Appraised Problem-Solving Ability, Affective States, and Psychological Distress Academic Article uri icon


  • According to the social problem-solving model, a positive problem orientation wards off negative affect and promotes positive affect to enhance problem solving. It was hypothesized that the Problem-Solving Confidence and Personal Control factors on the Problem-Solving Inventory (Heppner, 1988) constitute facets of the problem orientation component; therefore, these variables should be significantly associated with negative affect, positive affect, and psychological distress over time. In a series of studies, a positive problem orientation was prospectively associated with greater positive and lower negative affect under a variety of conditions. However, the relation of the problem orientation variables to distress appeared to be mediated by trait affectivity. Results are interpreted in light of the social problem-solving model, and implications for counseling are discussed. © 1995 American Psychological Association.

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. R., Sherwin, E., Harkins, S. W., & Marmarosh, C.

citation count

  • 60

publication date

  • January 1995