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Personality, stress and coping in step-families Lee-Baggley, Dayna


The current study examined the role of dimensions of personality derived from the five-factor model (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) in coping with interpersonal family stressors (marital conflict and child misbehavior). The study used a daily process methodology and a hierarchical linear modeling analysis strategy to examine the independent and interactive effects of personality and situation on coping strategy use. Seventy-seven couples living in a stepfamily context reported interpersonal family stressors and coping twice daily for a week. Nine subscales of coping were examined based on the three main functions of coping: problem-, emotion- and relationship focused. Both the situational context and all of the five dimensions of personality examined were significantly and independently related to coping strategy use. Moreover, there were significant interactions of personality with context in predicting coping responses to stress. The present study highlights the importance of considering personality in context when examining coping behaviours.

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