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Stress Coping and Psychopathology | Homework Helper

Stress refers to a response that occurs when individuals perceive a psychological or physical situation that overwhelms their resources and endangers their well-being. Stressors can be grouped into environmental, major life events, and life transitions. According to Stanislavski (2019), the stress level between men and women differs due to their different social roles and lifestyles. Stress psychopathology attempts to explain stress as a predisposed vulnerability that takes genetics, psychological, and situational factors. The psychopathology theory refers to stress as an illness; thus, individual differences lead to different stressors and coping mechanisms.

The stress psychopathology theory emphasizes that adolescent stress is inherent with prior vulnerabilities such as poor problem-solving skills, emotional expression difficulties, underdeveloped emotional regulation skills, and increased physiological reactions. These intrinsic characteristics make it difficult for some individuals to adapt effectively to a situation, thus leading to enhanced responses. Prior vulnerabilities and experiences lead to an individual’s responding differently, whereas negative situations can lead to a range of reactions such as aggression, sadness, anger, and suppression (Zimmer‐Gembeck, & Skinner, 2016). Adaptation to stressful situations is viewed as the expression of emotional and behavioral issues. Therefore, coping mechanisms cushion the effects of stressful experiences reducing the likelihood of ensuing psychosocial issues

Coping Mechanisms

Stress psychopathology theory argues that there are two responses to coping and involuntary responses to stressful situations. Involuntary reactions to stress include intrusive thoughts and cognitive numbing. Coping is individuals’ active efforts to manage specific physiological demands that exceed their resources. There are three primary coping strategies; avoidant, problem-solving, and emotion-focused. Avoidant coping emphasizes acting like nothing happened, staying away from the stressful situation, avoiding thinking about the situation using distractors (Compas, Vreeland, & Henry, 2020). Avoidant coping has a positive correlation with symptoms of psychopathology such as depression and social anxiety. Individuals avoid the stressors thus have temporary relief regarding their fears, but the situation remains unchanged.

Problem-focused coping is the most effective way to cope with a stressful situation depending on the prior vulnerabilities of an individual. The coping strategy focuses on practical ways to tackle the situation, thus directly alleviating the stress. Problem-focused strategies include solving the issue, making a plan, obtaining social support to remove the stressor, and providing a long-term solution to the issue. Research by Berardi, Glantsman and Whipple (2019) states that problem-focused strategies work where the stressor is within an individual’s sphere of influence and thus does not work where the stressor is beyond an individual’s control. The strategy is inherent in optimistic persons and is usually associated with fewer psychopathology symptoms.

An emotion-focused coping strategy emphasizes the reduction of negative responses associated with stressors such as depression, anxiety, and frustrations. The negative responses are removed using various methods such as drug therapy, cognitive reconstruction, distraction, emotional disclosure, and suppressing emotions through meditation and drug abuse (McLeod, 2015). Emotion-focused coping strategies can only be utilized when the stressor is beyond an individual’s control. Emotion-focused coping does not ignore the root issue; this is not a long-term solution. The delay in dealing with the root issue contributes to poor health and contributes to symptoms of psychopathology. In addition, there exist gender differences in using emotion-focused coping styles as women use the strategy more than men.

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Stress Coping and Psychopathology | Homework Helper . (2022, June 20). Essay Writing . Retrieved May 20, 2024, from https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/stress-coping-and-psychopathology/
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Stress Coping and Psychopathology | Homework Helper . [online]. Available at: <https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/stress-coping-and-psychopathology/> [Accessed 20 May. 2024].
Stress Coping and Psychopathology | Homework Helper [Internet]. Essay Writing . 2022 Jun 20 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from: https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/stress-coping-and-psychopathology/
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