Learning to cope with stressful situations is one of the most important tasks of human development. People who can successfully cope with stress enjoy longer, more productive, and more satisfying lives. Coping with stress is particularly important for physical and mental health throughout the lifespan.

Although coping has been defined in various ways, the most popular definition was offered by Richard Lazarus, who referred to coping as an individuals’ conscious attempts to adapt to stressful situations. He argued that coping involves managing cognitions, emotions, behavior, physiology, and the environment in response to stressful environmental demands. This entry describes the major types of coping strategies that have been identified in coping research, how these strategies are associated with positive and negative outcomes, and developmental changes in ...

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