Active Coping Strategies
Active coping is a broad term that captures the many behavioral and cognitive strategies by which a person tries to actively manage the demands of a stressful situation and the resulting emotional and physiological reactions.
In our daily parlance, people frequently use the words cope or coping to designate a successful attempt at facing, dealing with, mastering, or overcoming a stressful situation. In their seminal research program, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) proposed a different approach and defined coping as the behavioral and cognitive efforts to manage the demands of a situation. Defining coping as efforts rather than as a successful outcome allows researchers to consider both the effective and ineffective attempts to handle a stressor as legitimate demonstrations of the coping construct. As a result,...
Preparation of this entry was prepared while Patrick Gaudreau was funded by a research grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (#435-2015-0649). It was also facilitated by a teaching release awarded by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa.
- Ayers, T. S., Sandler, I. N., West, S. G., & Roosa, M. W. (1996). A dispositional and situational assessment of children’s coping: Testing alternative models of coping. Journal of Personality, 64, 923–958. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1996.tb00949.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Compas, B. E., Jaser, S. S., Bettis, A. H., Watson, K. H., Gruhn, M. A., Dunbar, J. P., … Thigpen, J. C. (2017). Coping, emotion regulation, and psychopathology in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analysis and narrative review. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 938–991. https://doi.org/10.1037/bul0000110.
- Connor-Smith, J. K., Compas, B. E., Wadsworth, M. E., Thomsen, A. H., & Saltzman, H. (2000). Responses to stress in adolescence: Measurement of coping and involuntary stress responses. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 976–992. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.68.6.976.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Crocker, P. R. E., Tammien, K. A., & Gaudreau, P. (2015). Coping in sport. In S. D. Mellalieu & S. Hanton (Eds.), Contemporary advances in sport psychology: A review (pp. 28–67). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Nicholls, A. R., Taylor, N. J., Carroll, S., & Perry, J. L. (2016). The development of a new sport-specific classification of coping and a meta-analysis of the relationship between different coping strategies and moderators on sporting outcomes. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1674. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01674.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar