Coping Mediates the Relationship Between Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

" (Giovacchini, 1996, pg. 2)

According to Giovachinni research into the psychodynamics of individuals in their experience of current adjustments and symptom formation is "much more interesting and fulfilling than monitoring surface behavior. processes are innately fascinating and their study creates dimensions and viewpoints that expand our appreciation of the versatility of the psyche as our in-depth understanding is increased, in itself, an aesthetic experience." (Giovacchini, 1996, pg. 2) Unconscious motivation is the "essence of the intrapsychic focus..." which serves to transform patients into "interesting human beings rather than the passive recipients of pharmacological ministrations. How the treatment procedures fits into the therapeutic relationship is taken into account, enabling patients to pursue autonomy and mastery of their emotions." (Giovacchini, 1996, pg. 2)

The work of Halil entitled: "Personality and Coping: A Multidimensional Research on Situation and Dispositional Coping" (2004) states that coping is defined "as a constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific internal and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person. There are three basic cognitive characteristics from defense mechanisms:

1) conscious;

2) intentional and 3) revision.

Individual differences "are posited to effect the process of coping in two ways:

1) stable coping strategies (dispositional) may be used without any reference to stressful events' demands; and 2) based on the nature of events (situational) of their own resources. (Halil, 2004)

Halil reports that the hypothesis that situational and dispositional coping styles are related to each other is validated in the study reported. The work of Larsson (1989) entitled: "Personality, Appraisal and Cognitive Coping Processes, and Performance During Various Conditions of Stress" reports a study on the "relationships between personality factors, situational and specific appraisal and coping processes, and psychomotor performance during calm and stressful conditions. The sampling was 89 Swedish males with a mean age of 18.6 years with a performance task of shooting down 10 enemy aircraft on a simulator for anti-aircraft artillery. The task was conducted three times:

1) in calm conditions;

2) noisy conditions; and 3) noisy conditions with sleep deprivation.

Performance is stated to have "deteriorated as successive stressors were added. Personality factors showed weaker relationships with performance than situation-specific appraisal and cognitive coping indictors. Participants who appraised the performance situation as constituting a challenge were those found to be associated with positive thinking and good performance however among those who assessed the situation as threatening were those who assessment was associated with negative thinking and poor performance." (Larsson, 1989) Two processes are stated to be critical mediators of stressful person-environment relationships and their immediate and long-range outcomes:

1) cognitive appraisal; and 2) coping.

Cognitive appraisal include two processes which are interdependent:

1) primary; and 2) secondary appraisal. (Larsson, 1989)

Primary appraisal allows the individual to judge an encounter as:

1) irrelevant;

2) benign positive; or 3) stressful.

Personality variables are important and derived from belief systems, commitments, and vulnerability. Coping efforts two main functions served:

1) management; or 2) alteration of the person-environment relationship that is the stress source in problem-focused coping and regulation of stressful emotions (emotion-focused coping). (Larson, 1989)

The work of Holahan and Moos (1987) entitled: "Personal and Contextual Determinants of Coping Strategies" report a study that made examination of both "personal and contextual predictors of active and avoidance coping strategies..." (1987) the study was conducted among a sampling of 400 adults and in a sample of 400 individuals with unipolar depression entering psychiatric treatment." (Holahan and Moos, 1987, paraphrased) the study stats finding that Individuals "who had more personal and environmental resources were more likely to rely on active coping and less likely to use avoidance coping." (Holahan and Moos, 1987) for both groups in this study the majority of predictors continued to show "significant relations with active and avoidance coping strategies even after the stable component in coping was controlled in a longitudinal design." (Holahan and Moos, 1987)

The work of Delongis and Holtzman entitled "Coping in Context: The Role of Stress, Social Support and Personality in Coping" states the fact that an important role in the various manners of stress and coping is played by both personality and social relationships. The 'Big Five' dimensions of personality are found to be linked to the "likelihood of engage in certain coping strategies and the effectiveness or outcomes of these coping strategies." (Delongis and Holtzman, 2005) Additionally stated in the findings is that "the effect of personality on coping and stress outcomes...vary by the situational context in which stress occurs." (Delongis and Holtzman, 2005)

The work of Amirkhan, Risinger and Swickert (1995) entitled: "Extraversion: A 'Hidden' Personality Factor in Coping" states that recent evidence indicates a "larger role for personality determinants of the coping response" than previously had been believed and presents two studies in which the influence of personality on the use of social support and other coping strategies were assessed. Additionally stated in findings in this study were: "Extraversion was related to social support seeking, optimism (identified as germane to coping in prior research) was related to problem solving, and both dispositions were negatively related to avoidance. The second study used an experimental approach and multiple personality measures to correct for possible methodological problems in the first. Extraversion again proved to be associated with help seeking;" (1995)

Amirkhan, Risinger and Swickert state: "...it seems unlikely that people are born anew in every crisis they encounter; they must carry "personbound" factors with them from stressor to stressor, factors that also influence the choice of a coping strategy. Whether these are personality dispositions, motivational or affective tendencies, or even accumulated coping resources, they should produce some consistency in responses across stressful situations." (Amirkhan, Risinger and Swickert, 1995) Findings in this study specifically state the conclusion: "...it would appear that the most pervasive and replicable factors in coping are closely related to the major personality dimensions of neuroticism and extraversion." (Amirkhan, Risinger and Swickert, 1995)

The work of Gunthert, Cohen, and Armeli (1999) entitled: "The Role of Neuroticism in Daily Stress and Coping" relates the study that examined the influence of neuroticism on the occurrence of various daily events, primary and secondary appraisal through specific strategies for coping and 'end-of-day negative mood'. (Gunthert, Cohen, and Armeli, 1999) This study relates that in the report of their days event that was most stressful individuals that were highly neurotic when compared with those who were low-neurotic individuals "reported more interpersonal stressors and had more negative primary and secondary appraisals and reacted with more distress in response to increasingly negative primary and secondary appraisals. " (Gunthert, Cohen, and Armeli, 1999) When compared with low neurotic individuals, those who were high-neurotic individuals 'used less adaptive coping strategies and reacted with more distress in response to some types of coping strategies." (Gunthert, Cohen, and Armeli, 1999)

The work of Bolger (1990) entitled: Coping as Personality Process: A Prospective Study" published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" reports a study that tested the proposition "that coping is personality in action under stress." (Bolger, 1990) This study used a medical school examination which is quite stressful to examine:

1) whether neuroticism emerged in coping patterns over time; and 2) whether the influence of neuroticism on coping accounted for changes in anxiety and examination performance." (Bolger, 1990)

Survey reports were given by 50 premed students on their coping efforts "at 35 days before, 10 days before and 17 days after the examination." (Bolger, 1990) Daily stress reports were given for 35 days next surrounding the date of examination. Findings show that neuroticism influenced the coping behaviors of these individuals and provided an explanation of fifty percent of the relationships between neurotics and increases in preexamination anxiety. Bolger asks the question of "...shat specific coping processes mediate the relationship between neuroticism and increases in anxiety under stress? Researchers often distinguish two major types of coping efforts:

1) problem-focused; and 2) emotion-focused coping. (1990)

The work of Marshall and Dunkel-Schetter (1987) is related by Bolger who states that "more detailed taxonomies also exist including the measure of coping that is most widely used, or the 'Ways of Coping Inventory' in which six primary types of coping are identified and include:

1) problem-focused coping;

2) seeking support;

3) focusing on the positive;

4) distancing;

5) wishful thinking; and 6) self-blame. (1990)

The work of McCormick, Dowd, Quirk, and Zegarra (1998) entitled: "The Relationship of Neo-Pi Performance to Coping Styles, Patterns of Use, and Triggers for Use Among Substance Abusers" (1998) reports the investigation of the construct validity of the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI_ with a clinical population of 2,676 substance abusers." Self-report measures of psychopathology were correlated with NEO-PI and patterns of substance abuse, reporting coping styles, relapse triggers and relapse confidence. Findings stated by McCormick, Dowd, Quirk, and Zegarra (1998) include…

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