Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1991

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)

Department

Advanced Education Programs

Advisor

Thomas T. Jackson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine: (a) if a relationship exists between an individual's sex-role orientation and that individual's method of coping; and (b) if a relationship exists between an individual's gender and that individual's method of coping. Considering the adaptive behavior to be an individual's coping abilities, several hypothesis were developed based on the androgyny theory (Bem, 1975, 1979; Block, 1974; Schaffer, 1980; Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1975). The theory stated that individuals with a balance between masculine and feminine characteristics should be better adjusted than strongly sex-typed individuals. There were five hypotheses in the present study: (a) that an androgynous individual would use greater degrees of both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping as compared to other sex-role orientations; (b) that with the exception of the androgynous sex- role, a masculine sex-role orientation would use more problem-focused coping as compared to the other sex-roles; (c) that with the exception of the androgynous sex-role, a feminine sex-role orientation would use more emotion-focused coping as compared to other sex - roles; (d) that an undifferentiated sex-role would use a greater degree of less useful coping methods as compared to other sex-roles; and (e) that an individual's gender would not have an effect on an individual's method of coping. The main features of the research problem for this study involved asking 158 college students enrolled in a General Psychology course to complete several questionnaires, questionnaires: The students completed the following three a demographics questionnaire, a Short Bern Sex-Role Inventory, and the COPE questionnaire. The Short Bern Sex-Role Inventory is designed to measure an individual's sex-role stereotype. The COPE questionnaire is designed to measure general types of coping methods and specific coping strategies. Results indicated that sex-role orientation tended to be an important factor in an individual's method of coping. The research failed to conclusively support the androgyny theory. Androgynous, masculine, and feminine sex-role orientations employed greater use of problem-focused coping methods as compared to an undifferentiated sex-role. Androgynous and feminine sex-role orientations employed greater use of emotion-focused coping methods as compared to masculine and undifferentiated sex-roles. Consequently, the undifferentiated individual would be expected to have lower levels of adjustment. In addition, the individual's gender did not appear to be a contributing factor in the individual's coping method. These results tend to support the assumption that the individual's sex-role may be more influential in the individual's coping methods than the individual's gender.

Rights

Copyright 1991 Donna J. Hudson

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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