Situational Coping and Coping Dispositions in a Stressful Transaction

Charles S Carver, Michael F. Scheier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

559 Scopus citations


After reporting dispositional coping styles, students reported situational coping and 4 classes of affect (from threat, challenge, harm, and benefit appraisals) 2 days before an exam, after the exam but before grades were posted, and after posting of grades. Coping did not predict lower levels of future distress; indeed, some coping seemed to induce feelings of threat. Feelings of harm before the exam induced several kinds of coping after the exam, mostly dysfunctional. Confidence about one's grade was a better predictor of emotions throughout than was coping. Dispositional coping predicted comparable situational coping at low-moderate levels in most cases. Coping dispositions did not reliably predict emotions, however, with these exceptions: Dispositional denial was related to threat, as was dispositional use of social support; dispositional use of alcohol was related to both threat and harm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-195
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

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