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Stress-coping and individuation in enfp-type women : theoretical integration and development Wolfe, Heather P.

Abstract

Through a combination of grounded theory method and orientational qualitative inquiry, this study focused on integrating and building upon components of cognitive-transactional stress-coping theory (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, Lazarus, 1991) and Jungian/Myers-Briggs type theory (Jung, 1921/1971, Myers & McCaulley, 1985) through the exploration of extraverted women's stresscoping processes. Six women (age range 31-42) scoring ENFP on the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (Form G Self-Scorable, Revised) participated in semistructured interviews taking approximately 90 minutes each. Results indicated general categories of stress-related storing and releasing dynamics, involving both physical and psychological dimensions. The model developed focused mainly on stress involving people, as the women emphasized this as being more personally relevant than task-oriented stressors, and the examples given in their narratives reflected this emphasis. In addition to external behaviours, the results outline intrapsychic processes described by the women, including cognitive-emotional processing of the stressful events. Attention was given to meaning-making and self-actualizing through the stress-coping process (individuation). The women's interview narratives indicated a multifaceted appraisal process linked with issues involving ongoing identity consolidation and reintegration. An overall resulting theme of transcending stress is discussed, presented from an integrated cognitive-transactional and Jungian theoretical perspective. Future implications regarding research and counselling practice are noted.

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