University of Twente Student Theses


Ways to deal with stress: A mixed-method study comparing flourishers and non-flourishers regarding their coping approach

Teschner, S.J. (2017) Ways to deal with stress: A mixed-method study comparing flourishers and non-flourishers regarding their coping approach.

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Abstract:At the moment, it is very less researched if flourishers differ in their way to cope with stress from those who do not flourish. To close this gab, the following mixed-method study has been conducted with the main aim to investigate differences between flourishers and non-flourishers regarding their coping strategies, coping resources and mindsets about stress. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were employed to keep data collection as close as possible to the daily life situations and to put emphasis on the perspective of participants. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was used to ensure that only participants with a substantial level of stress were considered. The Mental Health Continuum – Short Form (MHC-SF) was utilized to categorize participants as either flourishers or non-flourishers. The sample consisted of twelve adults (seven German/five Dutch) with a mean age of 39.08 (standard deviation 14.70). Their age ranged from 26 to 71 years. Results: Flourishers had (compared with non-flourishers) coping resources such as self-compassion, acceptance and optimism in a greater extent available, were using much more often active coping and cognitive restructuring. Flourishers’ mindsets about stress could be characterized as willingly to face difficulties and recognizing positive aspects of stress. The MHC-SF revealed that six of the twelve participants were flourishing (three of the seven women and three of the five men) and six were moderately mentally healthy. Conclusions: It is still not known if flourishers and non-flourishers were differing in the effectiveness of coping approaches and in which extent. It can be assumed that flourishers were more able to keep a positive emotional state in the condition of stress and were therefore influencing their stressor appraisal in a beneficial way. Moreover, this might have helped them to keep more of their coping strategies repertoire available in a stressful situation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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