/ / What is coping strategy? Indicator, features and types

What is coping strategy? Indicator, features and types

Nowadays, many people face stressin everyday life. At work and in the family, in public transport, in hospitals, in schools and universities, something is always going wrong. People are shouting at people, they are refused in various instances, relationships, plans, and often health, are falling apart. Different people choose for themselves different ways of coping with stressful situations.

Picture of a girl

What is the coping strategy for stress?

In psychology, the ways that a person choosesfor themselves, to cope with difficulties, have received the name of coping strategies. It is believed that coping with a difficult life situation - it means working in two main directions:

  • directly with the problems of the external world;
  • with the consequences of the impact of these problems, "come to life".
Coping with stress

Lazarus and Folkman categories

Researchers Lazarus and Folkman identified several options for coping strategies. The first category is focused directly on the work with the problem:

  • Confrontation. In other words, a person tries to "face" the existing difficulties.
  • Planning. A person makes a logical plan of action that will help him overcome the existing problems.
  • The second category of types of coping strategies is to work with emotions.
  • Self-control. Man restrains his experiences, in every possible way suppresses them.
  • Escape. He tries to forget himself, to stop thinking about difficulties, to distract himself, to fantasize.
  • Distancing. Using this coping strategy in behavior, a person tries to reduce the intensity of emotions, understating the importance of existing difficulties, re-comprehending them, sometimes applying humor.
  • Positive revaluation. It is aimed at finding pros in the current situation. A person tries to see in it a lesson, an opportunity for personal development.

Also, the researchers singled out mixed coping strategies as a separate group:

  • Taking responsibility for the situation. Assumes awareness of their participation in the circumstances, in a sense - guilt.
  • Search for support in society. A person attracts external resources, tries to communicate with those people who can support him.

Pros and cons of different strategies

In Western culture,that much more effective is the habit of taking responsibility for the situation, rather than working through the emotions raging inside. This way of solving problems really does work to improve the situation. However, its use can leave a person emotionally devastated, embittered at the world and at people.

On the other hand, coping strategies likereevaluation of the situation or flight allows you to better feel yourself, but with their help you can not completely resolve the stressful situation. A person continues to work with a mentally unbalanced boss, to remain in a relationship that deprives him of his mental strength.

In psychology, the most effectiveAn approach that combines several coping strategies simultaneously. With the right choice of tactics of behavior in a stressful situation, it is easier for a person to cope with it. For this it is important to know the full range of such tactics.

Copying strategies, types

Psychological protection or coping?

Some psychologists distinguish two types of behavior ina difficult situation - coping and psychological protection. As for the first, it involves setting goals, as well as work on their achievement. Psychological protection is one way to co-exist with the problem. For example, a poor family can talk about themselves like this: "We are poor people, but honest. We do not need someone else's good, that's why we live in poverty. "

Stressful situation

How is the coping with stress developed?

Mechanisms of coping strategies are often laid downthe individual at the unconscious level. Having tested this or that model of behavior, which at least once proved to be successful, later the person develops the habit of resorting to it again and again. In this sense, the choice of a strategy for coping with stress is laid like a conditioned reflex reaction.

A person learns every minute of his lifeinteract with the outside world. He constantly tries out certain behaviors in difficult situations. They can be due to his personal experience or cultural and historical traditions. The choice of strategy at a particular point in time depends on the resources that a person has - knowledge, health, support of close people, etc.

Types of coping strategies

What areas of personality affect coping?

The personal coping strategies affect threethe main spheres. When an unpleasant situation arises, a person develops thoughts that push him towards certain actions that provoke various emotional experiences. The psychological literature describes a large number of coping strategies with stress, but in one way or another they relate to these three spheres: thinking, emotions, behavior.

Choice of tactics

Features of coping strategies are often dependent onpersonal characteristics, the worldview of the individual. Getting into stressful circumstances, a person can take an active position: start studying the literature available on the subject, seek support from relatives or friends.

The other will choose a strategy of behavior thatonly will reduce the physiological response of his body to a stressful situation. For example, he will start taking drugs or alcohol, smoking, eating out, giving up sleep or, conversely, sleeping too much, going headlong into work.

Reassessing the situation

Effective and ineffective tactics

Not all coping strategies have the sameeffectiveness. Despite this, the person continues to use them. Productive tactics in psychology are those that are aimed at solving difficulties, do not adversely affect the state of human health, do not lead to social isolation.

Ineffective coping strategies

Conversely, the use of unproductivestrategies negatively affects health, leads to a decrease in human activity, spoils relations with people. Identify the preferential use of this or that tactic can be through various methods.

For example, using the indicator of coping strategiesresearcher J. Amirkhan, which is given below in this article. However, it also happens that the individual continues to use inefficient copying. This is usually due to the following reasons:

  • В прошлом они приносили пользу.Several times with this approach, a person managed to cope with unpleasant circumstances. But now the conditions have changed. Older behaviors are more unproductive, but due to past experience, people continue to use them.
  • Опыт родителей.It is often possible to hear how parents teach a child: "Do not be weak, let him surrender" (strategy of confrontation). Or: "Go away, do not touch" (tactics of avoidance). Since childhood, the child has learned from his mother and father a coping strategy of behavior. And not always they prove to be effective.
  • Social stereotypes.Often the way a person should behave is dictated by society. For example, a stereotype is spread that a man should show aggression in response to stress. However, existing cliches are not effective in all circumstances.
  • Personal experience. Models of behavior that were formed by a person in different life circumstances.
  • Personal features.This includes self-esteem, the level of anxiety, sex, age, belonging to a particular social group. For example, coping strategies of adolescents will differ from the tactics of coping with problems in adults. Often, adolescents prefer to deal with stress through communication with friends or choose avoidance tactics (for example, the use of psychoactive substances). Mature person, on the contrary, will rather choose more effective and rational tactics of coping with a difficult life situation. For example, will make an algorithm for solving the problem.

Coping Strategies: Research Techniques

В психологии используется большое количество tests to effectively determine the leading tactics of coping with stress in humans. By completing the test, as well as having a conversation with a specialist, you can determine how useful those options are used by the individual.

One of these tests is the Life Style Index (LSI), aimed at identifying a leading coping strategy. The technique was developed by R. Plutchik and G. Kellerman.

No less popular is the test developed by E.Heim in 1988. The researcher studied coping with a difficult life situation in cancer patients. Currently, psychologists apply his test for determining individual coping strategies in various fields. The questionnaire explores three areas of activity: intelligence, emotions, behavior.

Recognition received and test developed by J.Amirkhan presented in this article. Adaptation of the methodology was carried out in 1995 in the Research Institute. V.M. Bekhtereva by scientists N. A. Syrota and V. M. Yaltonsky. The test is designed to identify basic coping strategies. The questionnaire, as well as the key to it, can be found below.

Instructions before starting the test

This test is used by psychologists all over the world.Domestic experts offer it to both adult subjects, and adolescents. Before working with Amirkhan’s coping strategy indicator, the subject receives the following instruction: “This technique shows how people cope with the difficulties and obstacles they have to face in life. There are questions on the form describing various coping strategies. After reviewing these questions, you can determine which of the approaches you usually use. In other words, this test is aimed at diagnosing coping strategies. To pass the test, you need to recall one of the serious difficulties that you had to deal with over the past six months, which made you spend a large amount of energy. Reading these statements, it is necessary to choose one of three possible options that characterize you: "I agree," "I do not agree," "I completely agree."

Methodology "Coping strategies" Amirkhan

Then the subject should answer the questions listed below.

  1. The first thing I do is looking for the opportunity to share my problem with my best friend.
  2. I try to take actions that will somehow solve the problem situation.
  3. First, I search for all kinds of solutions to the problem, and then proceed to action.
  4. With all my strength I try to escape from the problem.
  5. I accept the compassion of other people.
  6. I do everything I can to prevent other people from seeing that my affairs are bad.
  7. I discuss my circumstances with other people, because it allows me to feel more secure.
  8. I set for myself a number of consistent goals, the achievement of which will help to cope with the situation.
  9. Carefully weigh all possible choices.
  10. I fantasize about possible life changes.
  11. I try to cope with difficulties using different methods until I can find the most optimal one.
  12. I trust my concerns to a close friend or relative who understands me.
  13. I try to spend more time alone.
  14. I tell other people about my circumstances, as this allows us to gradually come to the resolution of the problem.
  15. I reflect on what actions could correct the situation.
  16. Fully concentrating on ways to overcome difficulties.
  17. Thinking about a possible action plan.
  18. I watch TV longer than usual and spend time surfing the Internet.
  19. I ask for help from a close friend or psychotherapist to feel better.
  20. I try to show my best volitional qualities in order to fight for what I need in these circumstances.
  21. I avoid situations of communication with other people.
  22. I switch to hobbies, hobbies, sports in order to forget about the problem for a while.
  23. I go to a friend to talk about the problem and better understand it.
  24. I go to a friend to get advice from him on how best to act in this situation.
  25. I accept compassion from those people who suffer from this difficulty.
  26. I sleep more than usual.
  27. I dream that life could be different.
  28. I imagine myself as a movie or book hero.
  29. Acting to solve the problem.
  30. I want to be left alone.
  31. I am pleased to accept help from other people.
  32. I seek peace and comfort from those people who know me well.
  33. I try to carefully draw up a plan of action, rather than act on emotions.

Processing results

After the diagnosis of coping strategies has been carried out using the Amirkhan test, one can proceed to the calculation of the results.

  • Answers "Yes" in paragraphs: 2, 3, 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 20, 29, 30 refer to the scale called "Resolving difficulties".
  • Answers "Yes" in paragraphs: 1, 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 23, 24, 25, 31, 32 are ranked in the scale "Search for support in society."
  • Answers “Yes” on items: 4, 6, 10, 13, 18, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 30 - “Avoidance of difficulties” scale.

The answer of the subject “I fully agree” is estimated at 3 points;

“Agree” - 2 points;

"I do not agree" - in 1 point.

Then, the results can be estimated by the standard table of test results.

Level Resolution of difficulties Search for support in the community Avoiding difficulties
Extremely low up to 16 up to 13 up to 15
Low 17-21 14-18 16-23
Average 22-30 19-28 24-26
Tall more than 31 more than 29 more than 27

After analyzing the existing coping strategies, you candraw conclusions about the effectiveness of their approach to stressful situations. By combining various tactics, you can successfully cope with a variety of life troubles.

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