Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Richard P. Schellenberg

Abstract

The main purpose of this thesis was to study relationships between coping and adaptational outcomes. The first hypothesis of the study predicted that adaptive coping as measured by COPE will be positively related to adaptational outcome (examination score); the second hypotheses predicted that maladaptive coping responses as measured by COPE will be negatively related to adaptational outcome. The third hypothesis proposed that the relationship between coping and adaptational outcome will be stronger when coping is measured as a response to a stressful situation (examination) than when it is measured as a personality disposition. The fourth hypothesis predicted that challenge appraisals will be positively related to adaptive outcome and threat appraisals will be negatively related to adaptive outcome. Participants (79 females; 52 males) in the study were enrolled in the Fall 1990 General Psychology course at Fort Hays State University. These students were administered two formats of the COPE by asking them to respond to the items of this coping measure with reference to (a) their third General Psychology examination (situational response format), and (b) what they “usually do” when they experience a stressful event (personality dispositional format). Participants also responded to a self-report measure of their appraisals of the psychology examination and to the Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory. Results included only modest support for the initial hypothesis that adaptive coping would be positively related to adaptational outcome. In contrast there was considerable support for the second hypothesis that maladaptive coping would be negatively associated with adaptational outcome. There was negligible support for the third hypothesis that coping-outcome relationships would be stronger when coping is measured as a situational response than when it is measured as a personality disposition. Moreover, in half of the instances where either situational coping or dispositional coping (or both) was related to outcome, situational coping uniquely accounted for variance in examination outcome above and beyond that accounted for by dispositional coping. Finally, the results evidenced that the more subjects appraised the stressor (examination) as challenging, the more adaptive (higher examination scores) the outcome; the more subjects appraised the stressor as threatening, the less adaptive (lower examination scores) the outcome.

Rights

Copyright 1991 Veronica Bauer

Comments

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