The role of gender and negative affectivity in stressor appraisal and coping selection
How can individual differences in stress be explained? This study investigated some of the many possible answers to this question. Specifically, it assessed the extent to which gender and negative affectivity account for differences in stressor appraisal and coping selection. A sample comprising 121 females and 96 males rated the stressfulness of four hypothetical scenarios and indicated how they would likely cope with each. Hypotheses regarding differences in stressor appraisal were confirmed, with females rating the scenarios as more stressful than males, and perceptions of stressfulness increasing with participant negative affectivity (NA). Females endorsed the use of emotion-focused coping strategies more than males, even when differences in perceived scenario stressfulness were controlled. NA was positively linked to both emotion- and avoidance-focused coping, although only the latter association remained significant after controlling for stressor appraisals. Gender x NA interaction effects were not significant. Implications for the prediction and management of stress are discussed.
International Journal of Stress Management