Running head: REACTION PAPER
Understanding Coping in Context
Caroline Lambert, A.S., B.S.
California State University, Los Angeles
The role of risk and protective processes in individual outcome is very interesting to me as it breaks down the multiple aspects of the individuals’ world which shape their ability to cope with stress, resulting in either a positive or negative outcome. What is so interesting about these processes was that they exist at multiple ecological levels, each influencing the other. These include individual characteristics, interpersonal relationships, community resources, and macrosystem resources. Therefore, an individual with many protective factors such as optimism, multiple healthy relationships among family and friends to whom they can reach out to for help, and active involvement in the community, is more likely to be able to handle macrosystem stressors such as having no healthcare. Alternatively, an individual with many macrosystem resources, such as money and healthcare, who is pessimistic and has few interpersonal resources for support, may be at risk for a poor coping outcome.
I found the association of protective processes with the concept of resilience to be very meaningful, particularly as it relates to psychologists trained to search for the individual’s deficits. A person’s ability to cope and adapt successfully in the face of adversity is a common characteristic strength that often goes unaddressed in many areas of psychology. Resilience is perhaps one of the most important protective factors involved in one’s ability to cope. It can be viewed as a trait in many individuals, though a great deal of people experience resilience as an outcome, resulting from experience in overcoming adversity.
The concept of distal factors and proximal stressors in stress and coping was also intriguing as it shows how some factors are predisposing processes, where others are more immediately observable in...