ERIC Number: ED351623
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Cognitions and Procedures in Response to Illness.
Diefenbach, Michael A.; And Others
Recent research in illness has stressed the importance of constructive processes as determinants for coping and appraisal with illnesses. The goal of this study was to construct a lexicon of cognitive and behavioral responses people employ to cope with illness. Undergraduate college students (N=105) were given two illness scenarios describing the unfolding of a severe flu and an appendicitis inflammation and asked to indicate what they would do and what they would think if they were in the described situation. Results indicated that actions are dependent upon the severity and ambiguity of the illness. Contrary to previous research these scenarios stimulated a large number of thoughts and a substantial number of coping procedures. The two scenarios elicited similar thoughts and procedural reactions, with a tendency to provoke more thoughts than procedures. The number and content of these thoughts and procedures was similar for males and females. The appendicitis scenario elicited need for professional support far quicker and more frequently than the flu scenario. The study was successful in establishing a lexicon of thoughts and procedures people display when coping with illness. Interestingly, not each thought category had a corresponding procedure category. The study demonstrated that coping procedures and appraisal mechanisms change over time, flexibly adapting to varying demands from the environment. (ABL)
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 (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).