Stress and coping : a theoretical analysis and model

Type of content
Theses / Dissertations
Publisher's DOI/URI
Thesis discipline
Degree name
Master of Arts
University of Canterbury
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Overton, Averil Elizabeth

Traditionally stress and coping researchers have sought to identify factors that enable some people to cope better with stress than others. This has led to an investigation of environmental features, emotion-focused and problem­ focused coping responses, personality variables, and psychopathology. In the first half of this thesis the main theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of stress and coping are examined. The seminal work of Richard Lazarus is discussed in some detail. His Situationalist approach emphasised stress as a dynamic process that is mediated by appraisal. Introduced in the late 1960's, it challenged the hegemony of the trait approaches that had held sway until then

In the second half of the thesis Heinz Walter Krohne's Modes of Coping model is used to examine a modern Dispositiona/ist or personality based account of coping. This is used as a springboard to investigate some of the constructs believed to underlie coping. The work of Richard Sorrentino and colleagues on uncertainty orientation is explored and eventually subsumed under the broader rubric of emotional regulation.

The thesis culminates in a developmental model of coping. This suggests that human relationships provide the mechanism by which people learn to regulate potentially overwhelming negative emotions and that this in turn influences the ability to cope. In conclusion, implications for further research and particular ramifications for clinical psychology are discussed.

Stress (Psychology), Stress management, Adjustment (Psychology)
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
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