Accession Number : AD1011114

Title :   Coping Flexibility: Influencing Appraisals of Stress

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

Personal Author(s) : Lester,Naomi

Full Text :

Report Date : 25 Sep 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 210

Abstract : This dissertation examined the construct coping flexibility, exploring issues related to its measurement and correlates and testing two hypotheses about coping flexibility and stress. The first hypothesis evaluated the extent to which levels of coping flexibility predicted appraisals of a laboratory stressor. The second examinedassociations between coping flexibility and levels of chronic stress. The study examined coping flexibility in a repeated measures design and was carried out in a controlled laboratory setting. Subjects were 27 men and 32 women. Coping flexibility was assessed using two relatively new instruments, the revised Flex card sort (original Flex: Schwartz and Daltroy, 1990, revised Flex, Lester et aI, 1992) and a flexibility method using the Ways of Coping (WOC: Folkman and Lazarus, 1985; revised method: Lester et aI, 1992). Subjects had their coping flexibility assessed, then completed a battery of cognitive tests and questionnaires. Subjects then completed a stressful Stroop task and were asked to appraise the task both before and after completing it. Changes in heart rate, blood pressure and mood indicated that the Stroop was stressful, but results showed that levels of coping flexibility did not influence appraisals of this task. Results also indicated that there was no relationship between coping flexibility and chronic stress as measured in the study. Men appeared to be somewhat more flexible in some types of coping (e.g., avoidance) and no age differences were observed. Discussion of these results focused on measurement issues and speculated on reasons for failure to confirm the study hypotheses. Much of this discussion focused on the idea that coping flexibility may not be a salient individual difference except during periods of significant stress. Future research in this area should measure coping flexibility during different levels of stress and may profit from the development of a structured interview assessment method.

Descriptors :   stress (physiology) , stress (psychology) , questionnaires , heart rate , blood pressure , gender

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE