Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology


Currently, interest in stress and coping appears to be at an all time high in both popular and scholarly literature. Documentation of negative effects from high levels of stress has been firmly established in a number of scientific fields of inquiry, including medicine, psychology and psychiatry, sociology, and even economic studies of worker productivity. However, the quest for ways to ameliorate debilitating stress effects is outstripping our ability to understand the nature of the coping process. The current study focuses not only on the issue of what social and psychological resources appear to moderate stress effects, but also how those variables may intervene in the coping process through their relationship with the actual strategies used to cope with stress;Cognitive interactionist theorists have developed a model of coping in which social and psychological resources are viewed not only as stress moderators, but as factors which help to determine coping strategies. The emphasis is on how these resources may function to lessen the impact of stressful events by supporting or determining actual coping strategies, not merely on the degree to which their presence or absence may buffer stress. Such a model of coping has been noticeably lacking in prior research;This study addresses the lack of research on how social and psychological characteristics might affect coping strategies which in turn affect physical health. The general objective of the study is to develop a better understanding of the relationships between psychological and social characteristics, coping strategies, and physical health. More specificly the study: (1) investigates the relationship between various coping resources, coping strategies and physical health, (2) examines the relationships between various coping resources and coping strategies, and (3) examines the extent to which all of the above relationships differ by sex and by age.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Gale Ellen West



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185 pages