Affective complexity (AC) is a marker of psychological well-being. According to the Dynamic Model of Affect (DMA), stressful experiences reduce AC, while positive events increase AC. One type of positive events is leisure, which was also identified as a coping resource. This study extended the DMA and leisure coping research by assessing gender difference in how daily stress severity and leisure time influence AC. Analyzing eight-day diary data, we found that females, compared to males, experienced greater decrease in AC with increase in stress severity but also bigger increase in AC with increase in leisure time. The finding highlights gender difference in affective reactivity to and coping with daily stress, the value of the DMA, and the importance of severity appraisal.
- Daily stress severity
- Gender difference
- Leisure time
- The Dynamic Model of Affect (DMA)