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Much of what we know about the subject of coping is based on human behavior and cognition during times of crisis and transition. Yet the alarms and m~or upheavals of life comprise only a portion of those experiences that call for adaptive efforts. There remains a vast array of life situations and conditions that pose continuing hardship and threat and do not promise resolution. These chronic stressors issue in part from persistently difficult life circumstances, roles, and burdens, and in part from the conversion of traumatic events into persisting adjustment challenges. Indeed, there is growing recognition of the fact that many traumatic experiences leave a long-lasting emotional residue. Whether or not coping with chronic problems differs in form, emphasis, or func tion from the ways people handle acute life events and transitions is one of the central issues taken up in these pages. This volume explores the varied circumstances and experiences that give rise to chronic stress, as well as the ways in which individuals adapt to and accommodate them. It addresses a number of substantive and methodological questions that have been largely overlooked or sidelined in previous inquiries on the stress and coping process.
Introduction. Conceptual and Measurement Issues in the Study of Coping with Chronic Stress; B.H. Gottlieb. Theory and Perspectives. The Nature of Chronic Stress; B. Wheaton. Theories of Coping with Chronic Stress: Illustrations from the Health Psychology and Aging Literatures; C.M. Aldwin, J. Brustrom. Effortful and Involuntary Responses to Stress: Implications for Comping with Chronic Stress; B.E. Compas, et al. The Social Context of Coping with Chronic Stress. Social-Environmental Influences on the Chronic Stress Process; S.J. Lepore. Coping with Chronic Stress: An Interpersonal Perspective; T.B. O¿Brien, A. DeLongis. Considerations of Efficacy in Coping with Chronic Stress. Changes in Coping with Chronic Stress: The Role of Caregivers¿ Appraisals of Coping Efficacy; M.A.M. Gignac, B.H. Gottlieb. The Role of Two Kinds of Efficacy Beliefs in Maintaining the Well-Being of Chronically Stressed Older Adults; A.J. Zautra, et al. Illustrations of Coping with Pervasive Life Difficulties. Positive Meaningful Events and Coping in the Context of HIV/AIDS; S. Folkman, et al. A Framework for Understanding the Chronic Stress of Holocaust Survivors; B. Kahana, et al. 3 Additional Articles. Index.