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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Coping with interpersonal stressors : issues of love and status Preece, Melady


Diary data collected over seven days from 81 stepfamily couples were used to examine the relations between stress appraisals and coping responses. Stress appraisals were conceptualized as issues of love and status (Wiggins & Trapnell, 1996). Secondary appraisals of control were also considered. Coping was measured with a Brief Ways of Coping (BWOC) scale developed for use in diary studies. Additional subscales measured empathie responding, support provision, compromise, interpersonal withdrawal, and self-care. Coping strategies were organized on an interpersonal circumplex according to their intercorrelations and their relations to appraisals. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM; Bryk & Raudenbush, 1992) was used to analyze diary data. Appraisals explained significant portions of daily variance in the use of coping strategies as well as significant variance between individuals. The usefulness of conceptualizing coping strategies with reference to their relations to appraisals of stress within a circumplex structure was demonstrated. Relationship-focused coping was shown to be an important category in the study of coping with interpersonal stressors. It was suggested that coping strategies may best be conceived of as Roschian concepts with "fuzzy" boundaries as opposed to clear-cut categories.

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