Meaning in life and sense of coherence as predictors of coping among young adults
- Authors: Hutchinson, Ann-Marie Kerr
- Date: 2008-11-06T07:30:15Z
- Subjects: Young adults mental health , Stress in youth , Stress (Psychology) , Adjustment (Psychology)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14622 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1540
- Description: M.A. , Late adolescence/young adulthood is characterised by turbulence and major life transitions, and individuals in this life stage are confronted with stressors on a daily basis (Santrock, 2003). This situation necessitates adequate coping so that these young people can negotiate the transition between childhood and adulthood successfully. Health practitioners and educators need to establish ways to enhance adequate coping in young people in order to minimise their stress and ward off negative and unwanted consequences of stressors; consequences such as addictions, suicide, depression and other pathologies (Frydenberg & Lewis, 2004; Puskar, Hoover & Miewald, 1992). Research shows that more and more young people are reporting that their lives seem hopeless and meaningless (Santrock, 2003). Clearly it is beneficial to investigate the relationship between meaning, well-being and coping with stress in young adults. Past research has investigated meaning in life and sense of coherence and other wellbeing measures on adults who have already established themselves, and very specific samples, such as elderly people, the terminally ill and employees in the workplace (for example Marais & Stuart, 2005; Shek, 2003; Strümpfer & Mlonzi, 2001; Yiu-Kee & Tang, 2005). However, researchers have debated the extent to which any real progress has been made in the field of stress and coping (see Coyne & Racioppo, 2000; Lazarus, 2000; Lewis & Frydenberg, 2002; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Somerfield & McCrae, 2000). These and other studies have been critically evaluated in the current study, and it is clear that research is needed on meaning in life and well-being in late adolescence/young adulthood in order to assess how young people cope with stressors. Furthermore, research is needed on young people in SouthAfrica, in order to ascertain how they cope with stressors that may be countryspecific. The overall aim of the study was to establish whether there are relationships between meaning in life, sense of coherence and the ability to cope in young adults. More specifically, the study aimed to ascertain whether the extent to which an individual has discovered meaning in life and the extent to which he/she has developed a sense of coherence predicts coping with stress in a late adolescent/young adult population. A quantitative research methodology was conducted on a sample of male and female young adults (N=258). The participants were selected from a tertiary institution and had an average age range of 17 to 21 years. The measurement instruments have been used in previous research and were deemed culturally fair with valid and reliable psychometric properties. All three questionnaires were self-report measures. In order to assess the extent to which an individual has found meaning in their lives, the Purpose in Life Test (Crumbaugh & Maholick, 1981) was used. To ascertain whether or not an individual had developed a strong sense of coherence, the Orientation to Life questionnaire, also known as the Sense of Coherence scale (Antonovsky, 1987) was used. The Adolescent Coping Scale (Frydenberg & Lewis, 1993) was used to determine the ability to cope in young people. Various statistical analyses were conducted on the raw data collected from the questionnaires. Factor analyses were conducted to determine the internal validity and reliability of the measuring instruments. The distribution of the data within the subscales was tested for normality. Analysis of variance was used to determinewhether certain biographical variables could account for any differences in meaning in life, sense of coherence and ability to cope. Pearson product moment correlations were used. Thereafter both multiple regression and logistic regression were performed to determine if meaning in life and sense of coherence can predict differences in ability to cope. The results indicate that the constructs explored, as measured by the questionnaires, were not influenced by the age, gender, home language or direction of study of the participants. The sample could therefore be regarded as fairly homogeneous and the effect of confounding variables limited. However, as a result of this homogeneity, the findings of this study cannot necessarily be generalised to other populations. Findings indicate that there are relationships between meaning in life and the ability to cope. This finding points to the possibility that the extent to which an individual has discovered meaning in life, or the extent to which an individual views his or her life as meaningful is related to his or her ability to select effective coping strategies. Furthermore it was found that there are relationships between sense of coherence as well as the individual components of sense of coherence, namely comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness, and the ability to cope. This finding suggests that the extent to which an individual has developed a sense of coherence is related to his or her ability to select effective coping strategies.
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Occupational stress in men and women: a comparative study of coping resources
- Authors: Long, Susanne Ingeborg
- Date: 2008-11-06T07:30:23Z
- Subjects: Job stress for men , Job stress for women , Stress (Psychology) , Adjustment (Psychology)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: http://ujcontent.uj.ac.za8080/10210/381674 , uj:14623 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1541
- Description: M.A. , The ramifications of stress-related illnesses and disorders impact on the individual, the organization that the individual works for and the nation’s economic status as a whole. Coping with occupational stress has thus become the focus of occupational health specialists, organizations and industrial psychologists. South African managers and executives work under constant stress and pressure (Strumpfer, 1983). With the emergence of women into previously male dominated occupations, a greater number of women now hold managerial jobs, resulting in a larger percentage of women being exposed to stress-related illnesses and diseases. Past research regarding occupational stress and coping has largely focused on male managers, with many of these findings frequently being incorrectly generalized to women. Neglecting to include gender as a variable in most stress-related research has resulted in contradictions and perceived biases in the study of stress and coping (Barnett, Biener & Baruch, 1987). A review of the literature indicated that some studies report gender similarities in stress and coping, whilst others report that men and woman differ in this regard. The findings of these studies have been critically evaluated in the literature with some authors indicating that the measurement instruments and research designs of the studies were not adequate. The many contradictions found in the literature pertaining to how men and women cope with stress thus provided an important motivation for the present study. The overall aim of the research was to determine whether male and female managers differed in work-related stressors and whether they differed in the coping strategies adopted to deal with the stressors. A more general aim of the study was to amplify any existing research regarding occupational stress and its impact on men and women managers. A comparative ex post facto research design was applied. In this type of design, the researcher selects two or more groups of subjects that already differ according to one variable. The total sample (N= 70) consisted of 35 male managers and 35 female managers. The subjects worked in administrative support functions and were selected from two large financial organizations. The measurement instruments had to be culturally fair and have universal meaningfulness. Only instruments with sound psychometric properties were selected. The battery of five questionnaires consisted of: two tests taken from the Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised, namely the Occupational Roles Questionnaire (ORQ) and the Personal Strain Questionnaire (PSQ). The other three questionnaires consisted of the Sense of Coherence Questionnaire (SOC), the Locus of Control Inventory (LCI) and the Personal Views Survey (PVS). The research question for the present study was whether there are any significant differences between men and women regarding occupational stress and coping resources. The composite null hypothesis was formulated as follows: There are no statistically significant differences between men and women regarding their scores on a battery of five instruments measuring the sources of occupational stress specifically with reference to role strain in the workplace, psychological strain as a result of work stress, sense of coherence, internal or external locus of control and hardiness. In order to ascertain the difference between the two groups, the statistical techniques included the use of the Hotelling’s T-Square Test and Student’s t-test. The overall results, with the exception of the Personal Strain Questionnaire’s sub-scale reported no significant gender differences regarding the perception of occupational stessors, and no overall significant gender differences in coping resources. Thus, regarding the scores of the five questionnaires the following results were reported: The scores taken from the Occupational Role Questionnaire (ORQ) reported a Hotelling’s Trace Value of 0,039 with an associated F value of 0,410. This variance is statistically not significant (P>0,05). The scores taken from the Personal Strain Questionnaire (PSQ) reported a Hotelling’s Trace Value of 0,181 with an associated F value of 2,944. This variance is statistically significant (P<0,05). The difference manifested only in one sub-scale, namely the Vocational Strain sub-scale (P=0,075) which is significant at the 0,10 level of significance. In speculating the reason for this, it was suggested that the male subjects may have experienced greater levels of boredom or lack of interest in their work than the female group. Interestingly, the male group also reported a significant difference regarding the Meaningfulness sub-scale of the Sense of Coherence Questionnaire. The Meaningfulness sub-scale (P=0,060) being significant at the 0,10 level of significance. The Meaningfulness sub-scale includes a motivational element similar to the Vocational Strain sub-scale, further reinforcing the male group’s less positive perception of their work. The scores taken from the Sense of Coherence Questionnaire (SOC) reported a Hotelling’s Trace Value of 0,069 with an associated F value of 1,517. This variance is statistically not significant (P>0,05). The scores taken from the Locus of Control Inventory (LCI) reported a Hotelling’s Trace Value of 0,084 with an associated F value of 1,851. This variance is statistically not significant (P>0,05). The scores taken from the Personal Views Survey (PVS) reported a Hotelling’s Trace Value of 0,048 with an associated F value of 1,051. This variance is statistically not significant (P>0,05). The final conclusion of the study’s findings was that with the exception of one scale, there were no overall significant differences in the way that men and women a) perceive occupational stressors and b) utilize coping resources. The findings of the present study have challenged the widely held belief that men and women should be different in the way they think, feel and respond to stress-related events. It is hoped that the present study has not only amplified any existing research regarding occupational stress and coping, but has provided further ideas and recommendations for the design and implementation of South African occupational stress management programmes.
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Self-efficacy as mediating factor in the stress response
- Authors: Caldeira, Fatima
- Date: 2012-02-06
- Subjects: Self-efficacy , Stress (Psychology) , Locus of control , Type A behavior , Adjustment (Psychology)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:2015 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4368
- Description: M.A. , Over the years it has become clear that self-efficacy beliefs play a significant role in various domains of human functioning. According to Bandura (1986) individuals possess a self-system that enables them to exercise a measure of control over their thoughts, feelings and actions. This implies that the construct of self-efficacy has a pervasive influence on human functioning as it is seen to influence the way in which people feel, think and act. The literature has also shown that the physiological dimension of the self also stands to be affected by efficacy beliefs. One of the goal's of this research was to investigate the role of self-effiCacy as a mediating factor in the stress response, and how the various facets of self are affected by and affect an individual's perception of and response to a stressful situation. The stressful condition refers to the semester tests and how the students predicted their academic perfonnance under these conditions of stress. The design of the study was quantitative, and the sample comprised of 49 undergraduate psychology students. They completed a series of questionnaires a week before the first condition of stress, and their blood pressure was also measured at this time. Their blood pressure was also measured pretest and posttest at both conditions of stress. By means of a cluster analysis the group was divided into two homogeneous groups (high self-efficacy group, N=27) and (a low self-efficacy group, N=22) and this was followed by a detailed statistical analysis. The results revealed that the high self-efficacy group showed a bigger decline in diastolic and systolic blood pressure than the low self-efficacy group once the stressful condition had passed. Therefore the high self-efficacy group made a quicker physical recovery than the low self-efficacy group. It thus appears that the stress response of the more efficacious group may have been mediated by their beliefs of coping efficacy. Furthennore, the high self-efficacy group was more accurate in predicting their academic perfonnance than the low self-efficacy group. Even though the more efficacious group did not perfonn as well as the less efficacious group, they showed more optimism, and their prediction suggests that they are able to realistically appraise what they are capable of, since the test result was similar to what they had predicted. This ability to predict perfonnance is vital, as a major function of thought is to predict events and to exercise control over these events. This sense of control can be regarded as a self-confident view of an individual's capability to deal with certain life stressors (Schwarzer, 1997). Even though this study has highlighted some interesting trends relating to selfefficacy and the stress response, further research is needed to gain a more comprehensive understanding of this dynamic relationship.
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The effect of a sudden, life-threatening illness on family systems
- Authors: Bartlett, Justine
- Date: 2010-11-22T08:04:11Z
- Subjects: Families , Effect of stress on families , Family relationships , Terminally ill , Stress (Psychology) , Adjustment (Psychology) , Life skills
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7014 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3521
- Description: M.A. , The process of sudden hospitalization is often experienced as a negative and traumatic event in people's lives. Traditionally, these traumatic events are dealt with by the medical professionals in the hospital setting. Due to time constraints and the urgent nature ofthe medical crisis, the patient is often left in very capable hands but the family is often left out ofthis process. This type of crisis throws a family into a tumult of disorganization. Parsonnet and Weinstein (1987), state that when patients are critically ill, their families suffer extreme emotional distress, often without the support of medical staffwho must I focus on the needs ofthe patient first. This study focuses on the family from a systemic perspective and looks at the effects on the whole system when one member becomes critically ill. This type of traumatic event can therefore lead to the family experiencing feelings such as fear, helplessness, shock, distress and a total lack ofcontrol. Many ofthese feelings are common to most traumatic events. Three case studies are examined in which families describe their experience ofICU and sudden hospitalization and a qualitative analysis is then conducted to identify common themes among the three families. This research examines how the fields ofsupportive psychotherapy and emergency medicine can be combined in order to create an environment in which not only the patient's needs are attended to, but where the family system's needs can be supported and guided through an otherwise very traumatic experience. The concepts oftrauma and crisis will be discussed, as vyell as how this relates to family systems theory. The experiences offamilies will be discussed in detail and the possible methods that can be employed in order to support a family through this medical crisis. This study is limited in the fact that only one interview was conducted but this is an exploratory study and is therefore only the beginning of an interesting area ofresearch.
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The relationship between individualism/collectivism, locus of control and sense of coherence
- Authors: Bayne, Gregory
- Date: 2011-02-28T06:19:16Z
- Subjects: Social change , Stress (Psychology) , Personality and culture , Locus of control , Adjustment (Psychology) , Individualism , Coherence (Psychology)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7036 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3558
- Description: M.A. , The primary objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between Locus of Control, Individualism/Collectivism and Sense of Coherence between two groups of participants by using three measures. The study will also investigate the significance of the relationship between Locus of Control and the Individualism/Collectivism, and between Sense of Coherence and Locus of Control. The motivation for the study stems from a question regarding how cultural perceptual style interacts with personality traits to influence a person's Sense of Coherence. A further question faced by all South Africans, regards how one adapts to the cultural changes being experienced in the country, while at the same time maintaining a sense of self·identity. While there are many possible questions, this study will focus on investigating the interaction between the three constructs of Sense of Coherence. Locus of Control, and Individualism/Collectivism. The three core constructs of Sense of Coherence. Locus of Control, and Individualism/Collectivism are defined as follows: • Antonovsky (1987) defines Sense of Coherence as a global orientation that expresses the extent to which one has a pervasive. enduring though dynamic feeling of confidence as a function of one's sense of comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness. • Locus of Control refers to a generalised disposition. acquired from past experience, to believe that rewards either are, or are not, controllable by a person's own efforts. Such that those who are externally oriented hold the view that their success is due to factors outside their control such as chance and luck while internally oriented persons attribute success to their personal effort and ability. • Individualism and Collectivism are cultural perceptual styles which indicate whether individuals acts largely for their self interests, or in regard for collective group harmony.
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