Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The purpose of the current research was to examine: (a) if a relationship existed between an individual's sex-role orientation and that individual's method of coping; and (b) which sex-role orientation was most adaptive in coping with stress. According to Bern (1974), extreme amounts of masculinity or femininity "become negative and even destructive", while the androgynous sex-role is related to "adaptiveness" and "psychological health". There were four hypotheses in the current research: (a) the androgynous sex-role orientation will have higher problem-focused and emotion-focused coping scores than the other three sex-role orientations; (b) the androgynous group will have a higher adaptive coping score than the other three sex-role orientations; (c) androgynous individuals will have a higher total coping score than the other sex-role orientations; and (d) undifferentiated individuals will tend to use a significantly greater amount of less useful coping strategies than the other three sex-role orientations. Ninety-eight college students enrolled in courses at Fort Hays State University were asked to complete two questionnaires: (a) a Short Bern Sex-Role Inventory, and (b) 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, although the results failed to conclusively support the androgyny theory. The androgynous sex-role orientation employed greater use of problem-focused plus emotion-focused coping than did the other sex-role orientations with the exception of the masculine sex-role orientation. The androgynous sex-role orientation displayed greater coping adaptiveness than did the undifferentiated sex-role orientation. A total coping score indicated that the androgynous sex-role orientation utilized a greater number of coping methods than did the masculine and undifferentiated sex-role orientations.


Thomas T. Jackson

Date of Award

Fall 1992

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1992 Elizabeth A. Billinger


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