Anticipated coping with interpersonal stressors: Links with the emotional reactions of sadness, anger, and fear
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The same stressor can evoke different emotions across individuals, and emotions can prompt certain coping responses. Responding to four videotaped interpersonal stressors, adolescents (N = 230, mean age = 10 years) reported their sadness, fear and anger, and 12 coping strategies. After identifying emotion patterns using cluster analysis, associations with coping were examined. Intensity of emotion, and emotion and stressor type were associated with coping. Adolescents with intense emotions (i.e., highly sad, afraid, and angry) anticipated using more of most coping responses, whereas diffuse but moderate intensity emotion was associated with more active coping relative to other strategies. Anger was associated with less passive and more opposition coping. However, the expected coping clusters and patterns for fear and sadness were not found; no cluster of adolescents was intensely fearful or sad only. Support seeking and opposition were more common for peer-related stress, and active withdrawal was more common for parent-related stress.
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