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Introduction

The term coping is generally used in association with the concepts of adaptation and stress, but it bears links to many other concepts as well. Adaptation is a very broad concept which covers many aspects of human behaviour, and coping, in turn, refers to a person's means to achieve or maintain adaptation. Situations which call for readaptation are usually stressful, and coping refers generally to managing stress, or emotional states connected to stress, but also to managing the stressful situations. Coping is the way to avoid the harmful effects of stress. The best known, and in psychological literature the most often quoted, definition of coping comes from Lazarus and Folkman (1984: 141), who define coping as ‘constantly changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to manage ...

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