Essay about Coping Strategies

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Coping Strategies- Problem-focused Versus Emotion-focused

Coping strategies refer to the specific efforts, both behavioral and psychological, that people employ to master, tolerate, reduce or minimize stressful events. There are two general coping strategies which have been distinguished. Problem-focused strategies are efforts to do something active to alleviate stressful circumstances, where as emotion-focused coping strategies involve efforts to regulate the emotional consequences of stressful or potentially stressful events. Typically, people use both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping in their stressful episodes, which suggests that both types of coping are useful for most stressful events (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980). …show more content…

The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) was used to assess distress. Interviews were held at the couples homes in which each person was interviewed separately. Each interview took 30-45 minutes. The results from the study showed a variety of things. Firstly, perceptions of emotion-focused strategies in one's spouse was inversely related to one's personal distress and adjustment. When the spouse thought that the wife was using emotion-focused coping more often than problem-focused coping, it was found that it was related to the patient's elevated distress and lower functioning. Conversely, when the husbands perceived their spouse as coping with problem-focused strategies it was associated with their own better functioning. Results showed that perceptions of the breast cancer patients of their husband's coping strategy did not have a significant effect on their own distress levels. The results of the study are in line with cognitive theories of stress and coping and show that emotion-focused coping is related to pessimism and low control, whereas problem-focused coping is correlated with optimism and high control (Ben Zur 2001). One limitation of the study is its design. Because the study is correlational in nature, cause and effect relationships cannot be established. The study also did not take into account the social support of the patients and their

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