Stress-Resilience, Illness, and Coping: A Person-Focused Investigation of Young Women Athletes

Abstract

Coping correlates of resilience, defined as resistance to illness in the face of exposure to high numbers of negative life events, were studied in a sample of 404 young women high school athletes. Negative life events and coping strategies were assessed preseason, and daily illness data were collected during the course of the season. Among athletes with high levels of exposure to negative life events, resilient (no illness time loss) and nonresilient (upper third of time loss distribution) groups were compared on 6 scales of the Ways of Coping Checklist. Coping profiles of the groups differed significantly, with resilient athletes favoring Problem-focused Coping and Seeking Social Support, and nonresilient athletes reporting greater use of Avoidance and Blaming Others. Correlations among Problem-focused Coping, Seeking Social Support, and Minimize Threat were higher in the resilient group. Results suggest that certain coping strategies may contribute to illness-resistance in the face of high life stress.

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Correspondence to Joyce P. Yi.

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Yi, J.P., Smith, R.E. & Vitaliano, P.P. Stress-Resilience, Illness, and Coping: A Person-Focused Investigation of Young Women Athletes. J Behav Med 28, 257–265 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-005-4662-1

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Key Words

  • resilience
  • coping strategies
  • illness
  • young women athletes