Current Psychology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 85-97

First online:

Stress, Sex Differences, and Coping Strategies Among College Students

  • Ruby R. BroughamAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Chapman University Email author 
  • , Christy M. ZailAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Chapman University
  • , Celeste M. MendozaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Chapman University
  • , Janine R. MillerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Chapman University

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The sources of stress (academics, financial, family, social, and daily hassles) and coping strategies (self-help, approach, accommodation, avoidance, and self-punishment) of 166 college students were examined. The relationship between sex, specific sources of stress, and coping strategies was also investigated. Students completed a stress assessment inventory and a stress coping inventory based on a 5-factor revised COPE model (Zuckerman and Gagne Journal of Research in Personality, 37:169–204, 2003). Results found that college women reported a higher overall level of stress and greater use of emotion-focused coping strategies than college men. College men and women also reported different coping strategies for different stressors; however the use of emotion-focused coping strategies dominated over problem-solving strategies for both men and women. These results have implications for designing stress reduction workshops that build on the existing adaptive emotion-focused strategies of college students.


Stress Coping Sex differences