Lazarus And Folkman Analysis

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According to Lazarus and Folkman coping is determined by cognitive appraisal. This appraisal is described in three interacting stages: During the primary appraisal the individual evaluates the importance of an encounter as either irrelevant, benign-positive or stressful whereat stressful can be appraised as either harm or loss; as threat or as challenge. The secondary appraisal includes an evaluation about the individual’s ability to cope with the situation. New information from the environment or the individual can lead to reappraisals which are identical to the initial process. Importantly, Lazarus and Folkman point out that no appraisal is inherently good or bad but that the match between the appraisal and the actual event defines the appropriateness…show more content…
Two central personality factors influencing appraisal are commitments and beliefs. Commitments describe the values and preferences an individual has and is strongly related to psychological vulnerability: The deeper a person’s commitment, the greater the potential threat or harm. Nevertheless, a strong commitment can motivate a person to overcome obstacles. Beliefs, on the other hand, reflect an individual notion about reality and cover both beliefs about personal control and existential beliefs such as faith in God (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Commitments and Beliefs influence appraisals by defining what is relevant to the individual, by influencing the individual’s understanding of an event and by setting a basis for an evaluation of outcomes (Wrubel, Benner, & Lazarus, 1981, as cited in Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 55). In addition, situational factors such as the degree of novelty, predictability, event uncertainty and temporal aspects, as duration and temporal uncertainty impact the appraisal of a situation (Lazarus & Folkman,…show more content…
They conceptualize coping as a process which leads to social, psychological and somatic adjustment. Concerning psychological adjustment they hypothesise that it depends on coping behaviour such as a tendency to appraise encounters as challenges, a tendency to cope with negative outcomes by putting them in a positive light and to effectively manage a wide range of demands (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). In addition, Lazarus and Folkman point out that social adjustment is especially dependent on a match between coping strategies and daily demands. Furthermore, they describe three routes through which coping might adversely affect somatic health: First, coping can influence the frequency, intensity, duration, and patterning od neurochemical stress reactions. In addition, coping can affect health negatively, increasing the risk of mortality and morbidity, when it involves excessive use of injurious substances such as alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes, or when it involves the person in activities of high risk to life and limb. Finally, emotion-focused forms of coping can impair health by impeding adaptive health/illness-related behaviour (Lazarus & Folkman,

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