Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

pp 21-21

Active Coping

  • Linda CarrollAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta Email author 

Synonyms

Adaptive coping; Constructive coping

Definition

Coping is the set of intentional, goal-directed efforts people engage in to minimize the physical, psychological, or social harm of an event or situation (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Lazarus, 1999). There are many different theoretical and empirical frameworks for understanding coping, and many different ways of classifying coping strategies, but one such classification is “active coping.” In general, active coping refers to the utilization of those psychological or behavioral coping efforts that are characterized by an attempt to use one’s own resources to deal with a problem situation (Zeidner & Endler, 1996). These responses are designed either to change the nature of the stressful situation or event in order to decrease the problematic nature of that situation or event, or to modify how one thinks and feels about it in order to change one’s reactions to it. Examples include solving problems, reframing the meaning ...

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