Searching for the Structure of Coping: A Review and Critique of Category Systems for Classifying Ways of Coping

Department of Psychology, Portland State University, Oregon 97207-0751, USA.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 04/2003; 129(2):216-69. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.2.216
Source: PubMed


From analyzing 100 assessments of coping, the authors critiqued strategies and identified best practices for constructing category systems. From current systems, a list of 400 ways of coping was compiled. For constructing lower order categories, the authors concluded that confirmatory factor analysis should replace the 2 most common strategies (exploratory factor analysis and rational sorting). For higher order categories, they recommend that the 3 most common distinctions (problem- vs. emotion-focused, approach vs. avoidance, and cognitive vs. behavioral) no longer be used. Instead, the authors recommend hierarchical systems of action types (e.g., proximity seeking, accommodation). From analysis of 6 such systems, 13 potential core families of coping were identified. Future steps involve deciding how to organize these families, using their functional homogeneity and distinctiveness, and especially their links to adaptive processes.

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Available from: Ellen Skinner, Jan 13, 2015
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    • "Using a scale from 1 (Does not correspond at all) to 5 (Corresponds totally), participants were asked to rate the extent to which each item corresponded to what they did before and during the second midterm exams period in order to evaluate the coping strategies of students when they were preparing for and completing their midterm exams. Based on the hierarchical organization of coping (Skinner et al., 2003), these 8 strategies were reorganized into TOC (i.e., active coping, planning, increased effort, positive reappraisal, and relaxation) and DOC (i.e., behavioral disengagement, self-blame, and denial). Results of factor analyses have provided support for the two-factor model of this questionnaire (e.g., Gaudreau et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: In this study, we examined the mediating role of university students' coping strategies in the unique/additive influence of affective states and goal motivation on upward changes in affect during a midterm exam period. Design: Using a short-term prospective design, key assumptions from the Self-Concordance Model and the Broaden-and-Build Theory were drawn upon to determine whether coping strategies are influenced by goal motivation and affective states, while also subsequently influencing short-term changes in affective states during a semester. Method: A sample of 272 students (79% females and 21% males) participated in a study in which they completed questionnaires twice during the semester. Results: Results of structural equation modeling, using a true latent change approach, have generally supported our hypotheses. Positive affective states and autonomous goal motivation prospectively predicted task-oriented coping which, in turn, was associated with increases in positive affect. Negative affective states and controlled goal motivation prospectively predicted disengagement-oriented coping which, in turn, was associated with increases in negative affect. Conclusion: Coping partially mediates the unique association of affect and goal motivation with changes in affective states of university students.
    Anxiety, stress, and coping 09/2015; DOI:10.1080/10615806.2015.1100298 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    • "Adaptive Coping Strategies Problem-focused coping was measured as one coping strategy considered to be adaptive for the current task context; more specifically, strategies aimed at strategizing and tackling problems head-on (see Skinner et al. 2003). This was measured with 4 items drawn from the problem-focused coping measure of Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) Ways of Coping Checklist (WOCC). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: We examine the interaction between trait resilience and control in predicting coping and performance. Drawing on a person–environment fit perspective, we hypothesized resilient individuals would cope and perform better in demanding work situations when control was high. In contrast, those low in resilience would cope and perform better when control was low. Recognizing the relationship between trait resilience and performance also could be indirect, adaptive coping was examined as a mediating mechanism through which high control enables resilient individuals to demonstrate better performance. Methodology: In Study 1 (N = 78) and Study 2 (N = 94), participants completed a demanding inbox task in which trait resilience was measured and high and low control was manipulated. Study 3 involved surveying 368 employees on their trait resilience, control, and demand at work (at Time 1), and coping and performance 1 month later at Time 2. Findings: For more resilient individuals, high control facilitated problem-focused coping (Study 1, 2, and 3), which was indirectly associated with higher subjective performance (Study 1), mastery (Study 2), adaptive, and proficient performance (Study 3). For more resilient individuals, high control also facilitated positive reappraisal (Study 2 and 3), which was indirectly associated with higher adaptive and proficient performance (Study 3). Implications: Individuals higher in resilience benefit from high control because it enables adaptive coping. Originality/value: This research makes two contributions: (1) an experimental investigation into the interaction of trait resilience and control, and (2) investigation of coping as the mechanism explaining better performance.
    Journal of Business and Psychology 08/2015; 30(3):583-604. DOI:10.1007/s10869-014-9383-4 · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    • "Although several socio-cognitive variables have been shown to impact forgiveness, a critical role has been attributed to rumination (Ysseldyk, Matheson, & Anisman, 2007). Rumination is characterized by a ''passive and repetitive focus on the negative and damaging features of a stressful transaction'' (Skinner, Edge, Altman, & Sherwood, 2003, p. 242). Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated that forgiveness is negatively related to rumination (Berry, Worthington, Parrott, O'Connor, & Wade, 2001; Thompson et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous work has demonstrated that individuals high (vs. low) in forgiveness are faster to rate their current thoughts and feelings toward their transgressor (i.e., their state forgiveness), but the underlying mechanism is still unclear. The present study examined whether individual differences in rumination about the transgression would mediate the association between forgiveness and response time. Participants (N = 767) completed measures of trait forgiveness, rumination about the transgression, and state forgiveness (while response time was unobtrusively recorded). Trait forgiveness was significantly negatively associated with response time and this effect was mediated by lower rumination about the transgression. Results support the use of response time as an unobtrusive measure of forgiveness related processes and further clarify the role of rumination about the transgression in the forgive-ness–response time link.
    Personality and Individual Differences 08/2015; 82:90-95. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2015.03.016 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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