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Coping Mechanisms

Coping mechanisms are the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that an individual employs when encountering stress. Researchers have examined coping mechanisms at different levels, from specific individual coping strategies (e.g., making a plan of action) to broader, more global dimensions of coping (e.g., problem-focused coping). Researchers have also grouped these mechanisms into taxonomies; the two major mechanisms are approach/avoidance and problem-focused/emotion-focused. Approach coping refers to an active attempt to eliminate or alleviate the stressor (e.g., the suppression of competing activities), whereas avoidance coping refers an avoidance of the stressor altogether (e.g., denial). Problem focused coping refers to the elimination of the source of the stressor (e.g., seeking informational support), whereas emotion-focused coping refers to the elimination of the feelings associated with the stressor (e.g., seeking ...

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