Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 551-603

First online:

The Association of Coping to Physical and Psychological Health Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Julie A. PenleyAffiliated withDivision of Social Sciences, El Paso Community College Email author 
  • , Joe TomakaAffiliated withCollege of Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso
  • , John S. WiebeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso

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We performed a series of meta-analyses examining the associations between coping and health-related outcomes in nonclinical adult samples. Results revealed that problem-focused coping was positively correlated with overall health outcomes, whereas confrontive coping, distancing, self-control, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, avoidance, and wishful thinking were each negatively correlated with overall health outcomes. Neither planful problem solving nor positive reappraisal was significantly associated with overall health outcomes in our analyses. However, type of health outcome (i.e., physical vs. psychological) and situational characteristics (i.e., stressor type, controllability, and duration) moderated many of the overall associations.

Ways of Coping Questionnaire Ways of Coping Checklist health outcomes meta-analysis