A Process-Oriented Perspective Examining the Relationships Between Daily Coping, Stress, and Affect

by Jessica M. Blaxton

Institution: University of Notre Dame
Department: Psychology
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: longitudinal data analysis; multi-level modeling; stress; coping; positive affect; negative affect
Record ID: 2058179
Full text PDF: http://etd.nd.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-04162015-101105/


We assess the daily relationships between three functional coping strategies and positive and negative affect while accounting for the individual?s cognitive appraisal of their encountered stressor, assessed by measuring the severity and controllability of the encountered stressor. We collected 56 days of daily-data from a later-life cohort (N = 230; Age 61 ? 87; M = 72.7; SD = 5.0) assessing affect, the most bothersome event experienced that day, and which coping strategies they used to cope with that event. Multi-level modeling allowed us to explore and compare the between- and within-person effects. Daily Altering the Situation related to lower negative affect and higher positive affect. This coping strategy buffered the impact of stress severity on negative affect. High use of this coping strategy mitigated negative affect less in response to highly controllable stressors compared to low use of this strategy. Daily Altering the Meaning related to higher negative and higher positive affect. The mean effect of Dispelling the Negative Effects of stress related to higher negative affect. Findings illustrate that certain coping strategies target affective levels differently. The effectiveness of Altering the Situation partly depends on aspects of the encountered stressor.