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Coping

  • By: Tamara D. Afifi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

According to psychology scholars Richard S. Lazarus and Susan Folkman, coping is the process that occurs when people believe the demands in their environment are too taxing or exceed their available coping resources. The coping process begins when individuals feel as if they are threatened or are faced with an impending stressor. As these authors note, stressors themselves are not inherently stressful; people's perceptions of them as stressful and their perception of their coping abilities determine the extent to which stress negatively affects their physical and mental health. The belief that individuals have the ability to cope can make the stress feel more controllable, allowing them to manage the stress more effectively and have it cause less harm to their health (or potentially improve their ...

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