Personality and coping

Charles S. Carver, Jennifer Connor-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1083 Scopus citations


Personality psychology addresses views of human nature and individual differences. Biological and goal-based views of human nature provide an especially useful basis for construing coping; the five-factor model of traits adds a useful set of individual differences. Coping-responses to adversity and to the distress that results-is categorized in many ways. Meta-analyses link optimism, extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness to more engagement coping; neuroticism to more disengagement coping; and optimism, conscientiousness, and agreeableness to less disengagement coping. Relations of traits to specific coping responses reveal a more nuanced picture. Several moderators of these associations also emerge: age, stressor severity, and temporal proximity between the coping activity and the coping report. Personality and coping play both independent and interactive roles in influencing physical and mental health. Recommendations are presented for ways future research can expand on the growing understanding of how personality and coping shape adjustment to stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-704
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 10 2010


  • Effortful control
  • Five-factor model
  • Goal pursuit
  • Optimism
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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