Author(s): Folkman S, Lazarus RS, Pimley S, Novacek J
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Abstract The dramatic increase in the numbers of people who are living into old age has been accompanied by a growing interest among psychologists and health care professionals in their sources of stress and how they cope with them. Despite this interest, little is known about normative stress and coping patterns and the ways in which these patterns differ in older and younger people. This study, which draws on stress and coping theory, compares younger and older community-dwelling adults in daily hassles and eight kinds of coping. Two interpretations of age differences are evaluated: a developmental interpretation, which says that there are inherent, stage-related changes in the ways people cope as they age, and a contextual interpretation, which says that age differences in coping result from changes in what people must cope with. The findings indicate that there are clear age differences in hassles and coping. Overall, the findings tend to support the developmental interpretation, although the contextual interpretation also applies.
This article was published in Psychol Aging
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior