BPCS-186 Managing stress, Unit-5 Coping with stress, Notes available for exam point of view.



  1. Nature of coping
  2. coping styles

These three topics are most important from the exam point of view. So, you all should read it carefully. Below we have explained the full chapter very easy way, you will understand it very quickly.


  1. Definition and nature of coping
  2. Coping styles


Coping refers to “ The individuals response to a psychological stressor which is often related to a negative event”.

Coping in this context could be instrument or palliative.

  • Instrumental coping is denoted by results of cognitive appraisal or conflicts relates to emotions.
  • Palliative coping, is denoted by regualtions of emotions as a result of cognitive reappraisal of the stressful event or situation.

Though coping either be adaptive or maladaptive.

  • Adaptive coping not only reduces stress but also has long term positive effects.
  • Maladaptive coping may provide respite from stress for short period of time but it could have negative impact on physical and psychological health of the individual.

Personality not only determines how stress is perceived by an individual but also how she/he reacts and copes with stress. Individuals having varied personalities with display different coping stress and strategies.

Hardiness can be related with three main aspects namely, commitment, control and challenges.

Style of attributes individual could be optimistic or pessimistic. Pessimistic the coping strategies employed by the individuals. Optimistic individuals are likely to cope better with stressful situations.

Men and women also differ in the way they cope with stress. Women are more likely to employ coping strategies like positive self-talk, seeking support from others. Men on the other hand could engage in maladaptive coping strategies like consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Goals of coping :-

Individual differences exist in the coping styles adopted by the persons. Also, different coping strategies may be effective in different situations.

  • To enhnace the possibility of recovery by decreasing the negative environment conditions.
  • To be able to adjust to the negative situations.
  • To maintain a self – image that is positive and maintain emotional balance.
  • To ensure positive interpersonal relationships.


Coping style can be categorized as proactive coping, avoidant coping,emotion focused coping, and problem focused coping.

Problem coping

Proactive coping the individual will directly confront the stressful situation.

There are various stages of proactive coping.

Stages 1. Accumulation of resources :- The individual will make attempts to accumulate resources this could also be terms of gathering information.

Stage 2. Identifying or anticipating the potential stressors :- A potential stressor is anticipating or identified by the individual.

Stages 3. Initial appraisal:- The stress creating situation is carried out.

Stages 4. Preliminary efforts to cope with the stressful situation:- Efforts to cope with the stressful results, the some other actions are taken in order to deal with the situation.

Stages 5. Seeking feedback and using the same :- Based on the stages three and four, feedback is sought and used so that modification and challenges can be carried out.

Avoidant coping

The individual will try to avoid the stress creating situation or may give up less importance to the stressful event. Avoidance coping can result in individual experiencing not only stress and anxiety but it can result in individuals experiencing not only stress and anxiety but it can have an impact on self-confidence of the individual as well.

Emotion focused coping

Emotion focused coping strategies aim to reduce and manage the intensify of the negative and distressing emotions that a stressful situation has caused rather than, solving the problematic situation itself.

Problem focused coping

Problem focused coping also involves taking control of the stressful situation, seeking information about it and evaluation of positive and negative aspects of situations. And thus important as this coping style can be effective only when there is clarity with regard to the problem.


  1. Describe various styles of coping with stress
  2. Explain the nature of coping and describe the coping styles.

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