93 terms

Chapter 8: Understanding Coping in Context

Stress and adaptation framework
influential theoretical framework in psychology that examines the role of life experience in adaptational outcomes; comprehensive ecological model that is consistent with a community psychology paradigm; stress is an ecological concept because it involves understanding people in their contexts
Basic conceptual framework with stress
distal personal and contextual factors >>> proximal stressors and stress reactions >>> internal and external resources (i.e. coping and social support) >>> adaptational outcomes (physical, psychological, functional)
The role of context in the stress process
social context, cultural context, environmental context
Social context
sociopolitical environment; social networks
Cultural context
ethnocultural traditions, beliefs, practices; larger societal culture
Environmental context
specific settings (work, home, neighborhood)
Context and the stress process
these contexts influence stressor intensity, stressor frequency, stressor exposure, meaning of the stressor, coping options, coping effectiveness, availability and use of supports
Individual factors
genetic vulnerability, temperament, cognitive abilities, physiological factors, gender, race/ethnicity, personality traits, prior life experiences, ongoing inidividual conditions
Contextual factors
country, geographic location, sociopolitical factors, climate, population density, cultural contexts, ongoing conditions of living, social climate, relational dynamics
Risk processes (or factors)
are correlated with problematic individual outcomes such as personal distress, mental disorders, or behavior problems
Protective processes (or factors)
are strenghts or resources associated with positive individual outcomes
Distal factors
are predisposing processes, which directly and indirectly shape stressors, resources, coping processes, and outcomes; they are distal in relation to stress reactions and coping
Proximal processes
are more immediately related to stress and coping; include precipitating stressors such as bereavement or a natural disaster and resources activated for coping
stimuli that influence various outcome states; life experiences and conditions of life; person-environment transactions reflecting external demands or circumstances; tax or exceed existing personal and social resources; vary in duration, severity, quantity, personal meaning, and point of impact; threaten or result in harm or loss
Types of stressors
ambient/chronic stressors (distal), life events, life transitions, daily hassles, disasters
Ambiant/chronic stressors
relatively stable conditions of the physical and social environment, the circumstances of one's life; considered distal factors and create risk for exposure to proximal stressors; dont go easily or quickly
Examples of ambient/chronic stressors
living in a high-crime neighborhood; being a single mother; toxic pollution; physical condition of home, school, workplace; homelessness
Types of chronic stressors
role-related stressors; multiple role demands; role conflict; status-based stressors
Role-related stressors
stressors that emerge from the roles we occupy in life (eg parent, student, CEO)
Multiple role demands
simultaneous stressors emerging from having multiple roles; cumulative in nature
Role conflict
stressors emerging from conflicts in time, commitments, expectations in different roles
Status-based stressors
stressors that emerge from the status groups we belong to (SES, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity); can be related to isms
Life events
discrete, generally time-limited incidents with a beginning and an end
Examples of life events
death of a family member, break-up of a relationship, failing a test, being fired from a job, being assaulted, being evicted, being arrested
Life transitions
events associated with developmentally related phases of life; typically require learning new skills and roles
Examples of life transitions
starting a new level of school, graduation, getting married, having a baby, retirement
Daily hassles
short-term, small scale incidents that require adjustment; often emerge from life events, life transitions, or chronic stressors
Examples of daily hassles
losing keys, traffic jam, baby spitting up on work clothes in the morning, forgetting to bring homework to class
large-scale events that effect entire communities, regions, or nations; can have effect on physical and mental health, family functioning, social dynamics, shelter and safety, etc..examples: 9/11, hurricane katrina, war in iraq
Example of interrelationship of stressors
certain life events are more likely when particular chronic stressors are presenty
Vicious spirals
an interlocking and cascading pattern of multiple stressors where each subsequent stressor emerges from a previous stressor
Dimensions of stressors
predictable - unpredictable; controllable - uncontrollable; desirable - undesirable; chosen - imposed
resources/protective factors (material, social, and personal factors that promote health and can buffer the impact of stress exposure on well-being; associated with positive adaptational outcomes); resources are interrelated; resources are often determined by contextual, cultural, and sociopolitical factors; resources can simultaneously be a source of stress
Material resources
aspects of teh physical environment or tangible factors that can be purchased or provided by others
Examples of material resources
money, food, transportation
Personal/social-economic resources
individual skills, competencies, characteristics and belief that promote adaptive coping
Examples of personal/social-emotional resources
social skills, empathy, time-management skills, problem-solving skills, optimism, self-esteem
Social, cultural, and spiritual resources
persons, processes, and settings that provide emotional support, role modelling, guidance, community connections, status, power, or systems of meaning for interpreting stressors
Examples of social, cultural, and spiritual resources
friends and family; counselor or religious advisor; cultural traditions, beliefs, rituals, narratives; group/microsystems; specific programs; recreation center
Social support
availability and utilization of interpersonal connections to manage stress; lots of research indicates that social support is strongly related to decreased physical and psychological illness and positive well-being
Two major forms of social support
generalized support, specific support
Generalized support
(perceived support) ongoing sense of being cared for, belongingness, and acceptence; perceived support; group context and personal context
Group context of generalized support
social integration, sense of community, breadth of support networks
Personal context of generalized support
emotional support within the context of close relationships; depth of support networks
Specific support
or enacted support; encouragement, tangible support, informational support, companionship support
Encouragement and support
motivation, task-focused reassurance
Tangible support
concrete assistance, material resources
Information support
advice, guidance
Companionship support
participation in joint activities, spending time together
Sources of support
family, friends, fictive kin, natural helpers/mentors, role-based relationships, professional helpers, neighbors, members of communities or identity groups
Issues in social support
relationships can be supportive and stressful; multidimensional vs unidimensional; reciprocity; density
Mutual help groups
voluntary associations of persons who share some type of status, experience, difficulties
Forms of mutual help groups
self-help groups, mutual support groups, online mutual help groups
Key features of mutual help groups
focal concern, peer relationships, reciprocity of helping, helper therapy principle, experential knowledge, generate community naratives
Coping responses
strategies to deal with the impact of the stressor in one's life
Primary dimensions of coping
problem-focused/emotion-focused; individual/collective; prosocial/antisocial
Problem-focused coping
strategies that address the stressor directly; active, goal-oriented strategies; most effective when the stressor is controllable
Behavior forms of problem-focused coping
seeking information, increased effort, conflict resolution, utilizing resources
Cognitive forms of problem-focused copoing
planning, analying, decision-making
Emotion-focused coping
strategies that address the emotions that accompany the stressor, not the stressor itself
Examples of emotion-focused coping
expression emotions, venting; exercise; escae and distraction; meditation and prayer; food, drugs, alcohol; denial
Meaning-focused coping
strategies that attempt to find meaning in teh stressor through reappraisal; often leads to growh or learning important lessons; can be based on spiritual beliefs or on a person's philosophy of living
Exapmles of meaning-focused coping
connecting suffering to one's faith being tested, seeing failure as feedback
Spirituality and coping
kenneth pargament; spiritual coping can help make sense of the "incomprehensible, unfathomable, uncontrollable"; religious and spiritual beliefs can also lead to negative outcomes
Specific spiritual coping methods
feeling a strong relationship with a loving and trustworthy God; specific activities such as prayer, reading spiritual texts, listening to spiritual music; seeking and receiving support from members of one's spiritual community; religious reappraisal
Religious reappraisal
suffering brings a person closer to god or builds strenghts
Research on spiritual-religious coping
utilized more intensely in uncontrollable situations; often related to positive health and psychological outcomes; women, low income, elderly, widowed, adn african americans feel it is mroe useful than other groups (may be related to less access to secular sources of power and resources); negative effects include self-blame and being shunned from one's religious community
Virtuous spirals
adaptive coping may initiate this, in which resources are increased, successes build on each other, adn the stressor is transformed into a catalyst from growth
Interpersonal dimension of coping
prosocial and antisocial coping
Prosocial coping
strategies that reflect positive interpersonal behavior; caring for others, building relationships, seeking support, considering others in decision-making
Antisocial coping
strategies that reflect negative interpersonal behavior; impulsive behaviors, aggressive acts, disregard the consequences for others
Individual coping strategies
strategies that focus on the effect of the stressor on oneself and one's life; aimed at reducing personal harm and distress
Collective coping strategies
strategies that focus on the larger and future implications of the stressor; actions to eliminate the stressor or the conditions that caused it so that others don't experience it
Interventions that promote coping
social and policy advocacy, organizational consultation, alternative settings, community coalitions, crisis intervention, collaboration with community resources, case management
Positive coping outcomes
wellness, resilience, thriving, social embeddedness, empowerement
life satisfaction, self-esteem, happiness, achievement
maintaining or returning to prior level of health and functioning
a growth process that takes peaple beyond prior level of functioning and wellness
Social embeddedness
closer ties to family, friends, groups, communities
increased access to and utilization of values resources
Social and policy advocacy
improvemtn in teh well-being of large numbers of persons involves advocacy for community or social change, or for changes in specific policies of macrosystems, localities, and organizations
Organizational consultation
community and organization psychologiests consult with these settings, seeking to: change organizational polices; alter organizational roles, decision making, or communication; or deal with issues such as work-family relationships, human diversity and intergroup conflict
Alternative settings
at times, the limitations of an agency, clinic, or other setting may be so great that citizens or professionals form an alternative setting to serve clients in a different way
Community coalitions
this approach involves bringing together representatives from a local community to address issues
Prevention and promotion programs
these seek to reduce the incidence of personal problems in living, mental disorders, adn illness, or to promote health, personal development or academic achievement
Crisis intervention
immediately after the traumatic events focus on providing emotional support, practical assistance, information about coping, and encouraging later use of one's own sources of support and treatment if needed
Collaboration with community resources
community resources are outside treatment systems; these inclusde mutual help groups, consumer advocates, women's services, spiritual and religious settings, indigenous healers and elders, and holistic health practitioners
relationships in which the two persons involved do a number of things togehter and share a number of role relationships
the extent of relationships between the persons in your network other than you
the extent to which the individual both receives support from others and provides it to others
Helper therapy principle
providing aid to others promotes one's own well-being
Experential knowledge
is based on teh personal experiences of group members who have coped with the focal concern
Community narratives
expressing in story form a description and explanaiton of the focal problem, and an explicit guide to recovery or to coping