Coping Over the Life Span

  • Susan Folkman


It has long been assumed that coping changes over the life span. One point of view is that coping changes normatively as people age. For example, Gutmann (1974) suggests that as people age they move from active mastery, that is, aggressive, controlling modes of coping, to more passive modes, and ultimately to a reliance on magical modes. Vaillant (1977) and Pfeiffer (1977) also suggest that coping changes with age, but in different directions than suggested by Gutmann. Vaillant and Pfeiffer say that people become more effective and realistic in their coping as they age. There is less dependence on immature mechanisms such as projection and acting out, and more use of mature mechanisms such as altruism, humour, and suppression.


Young Subject Family Problem Passive Mode Positive Reappraisal Coping Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Folkman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaUSA

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