Psychology 101 Chapter 12: Coping Strategies

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Psychology 101 Chapter 12: Coping Strategies

Of all the chapters in our textbook, this one may prove to be the most useful to students because you will learn about some research-based approaches to problem solving, dealing with stress, and developing positive coping skills. Something we all could use more of at this time.

For this Discussion assignment, I’d like you to recruit someone in your household or a friend and discuss with them the concepts of emotional- and problem-focused coping strategies. Explain these concepts to them and talk about how a person might respond to a stressful situation.

To begin, when considering a stressful situation, a person would decide, “Is this situation changeable?”

If the answer is YES, then problem-focused approaches can be used to address the stressor directly, in order to reduce its ability to cause stress. (Example: a person with an annoying co-worker can take direct action by speaking to the manager, asking for different shifts, or speaking to the co-worker to try and find some common ground.)

If the answer to the question is NO, then emotion-focused coping is the only response possible because these strategies aim to reduce the emotional response and manage one’s own stress without being able to impact the problem directly. (Example: when we lose a loved one, there is no action we can take that will change the fact that the person is gone, our only option is to work to address our own emotional response and make ourselves feel better.)

In your discussion with your family member or friend, come up with TWO different stressful situations. For EACH situation come up with BOTH emotion- and problem-focused responses that are/were possible. Feel free to describe one situation that was yours and one that was your friend’s/family member’s, but both should be described in terms of the coping strategies that could have been used.

Just keep in mind: problem-focused addresses the stressor directly and emotion-focused entails doing things to make oneself feel better without addressing the source of the stress.

To summarize:
Explain problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies to your family member/friend
Together come up with 2 stressful situations (either made-up or personally experienced)
Describe possible emotion- and problem-focused responses to each situation

In your initial post tell us who you talked to and their relationship to you, then describe these 2 situations.