Disease controllability moderates the effect of coping efficacy on positive affect.

TitleDisease controllability moderates the effect of coping efficacy on positive affect.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWiley JF, Cleary EH, Karan A, Stanton AL
JournalPsychol Health
Date Published2016
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Affect, Attitude to Health, Female, Humans, Internal-External Control, Male, Stress, Psychological, Young Adult

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to test experimentally whether coping strategies (approach- vs. avoidance-oriented coping) have differential effects under conditions of high or low stressor controllability.

DESIGN: Undergraduates (62 women, 30 men) participated in a 2 × 2 experimental study where they were introduced to a fictitious disease (tisomerase enzyme deficiency) said to be either controllable or uncontrollable and an approach- or avoidance-oriented coping behaviour induction.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in positive and negative affect.

RESULTS: A significant disease control x coping interaction on positive affect (f(2) = .07, p = .011) revealed that approach-coping condition participants had higher positive affect than avoidance-coping condition participants when disease control was high (d = .94, p = .003), but not when it was low (d = .11, p = .93). The experimental conditions did not significantly influence negative affect.

CONCLUSION: Results demonstrate that disease control moderates the salubrious effects of approach-oriented coping on positive affect. For controllable, but not uncontrollable, health stressors, promoting problem-focused approach-oriented coping strategies may be recommended.

Alternate JournalPsychol Health
PubMed ID26383044