ERIC Number: ED266362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug-24
Reference Count: 0
Coping with Life-Threat and General Life Conflict: Two Diverse Beasts.
There is a widely held clincial contention that people use similar coping strategies in facing life-threatening situations as they do in dealing with general life quandries. To examine this hypothesis, male cancer patients (N=74), male heart disease patients (N=77), elderly persons (N=73), male patients with nonlife-threatening illnesses or disabilities (N=72), and normal healthy males (N=78) provided confrontation, acceptance/resignation, and avoidance coping responses to various life-threat, hypothetical stress, and recent actual nonlife-threatening situations. The results showed little indication that persons respond to life-threat situations (cancer, heart disease, old age) in the same way that they react to more common life tribulations. This finding is supported by the similar coping responses noted between reactions to both hypothetical and actual life situations of a nonlife-threat character and by the correspondence of coping manifested by the nonlife-threatened patients in their responses to general hypothetical stress conditions and to recent actual life problems. In addition, as in the case of the seriously ill patients and the elderly, healthy persons projecting serious illness and old age offered coping responses that were not related to those they indicated in dealing with nonlife-threatening situations, either hypothetically or in real life. A major conclusion suggested by these findings is that coping adaptation to stress cannot be meaningfully understood without reference to the level of threat. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).