Coping Difficulty, Energy Mobilization, and Appraisals of a Stressor

Introduction of a Theory and a Comparison of Perspectives
  • Rex A. Wright
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


It has been popular, in recent years, to conceptualize responses to negative events in terms of stress and coping theory (Lazarus, 1966; Mason, 1972; Selye, 1976). Definitions of stress vary (see Houston, this volume). However, the most commonly accepted view at this point is what usually is referred to as the interactionist approach. According to this viewpoint, stress is a psychological response that varies in magnitude with perceived threat. Threat, in turn, is believed to be a function of the severity of a potential negative event itself, and an individual’s perception of his or her ability to cope with that event (Cox, 1978; Lazarus, 1966). The more severe the potential outcome, and the less the perceived ability to cope, the greater should be the stress response, which is proposed to be manifested physiologically, affectively, and behaviorally (Baum, Grunberg, & Singer, 1982).


Task Difficulty Instrumental Activity Goal Attractiveness Coping Theory Energy Mobilization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rex A. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaUSA

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