Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Problem-Focused Coping

  • Linda CarrollEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1171



Coping refers to the intentional efforts we engage in to minimize the physical, psychological, or social harm of an event or situation. There are many different frameworks for understanding coping and many different ways of classifying coping strategies, but one such classification is problem-focused coping vs. emotion-focused coping. Problem-focused coping is that kind of coping aimed at resolving the stressful situation or event or altering the source of the stress. Coping strategies that can be considered to be problem-focused include (but are not limited to) taking control of the stress (e.g., problem solving or removing the source of the stress), seeking information or assistance in handling the situation, and removing oneself from the stressful situation.

Problem-focused coping is distinguished from emotion-focused coping, which is aimed at managing the emotions associated with the situation, rather than changing the situation itself. For...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Field, T., McCabe, P. M., & Schneiderman, N. (1985). Stress and coping. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  2. Lazarus, R. S. (1999). Stress and emotion: A new synthesis. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Moos, R. H. (1986). Coping with life crises: An integrated approach. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  5. Zeidner, M., & Endler, N. S. (1996). Handbook of coping: Theory, research, applications. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada