A daily process approach to coping. Linking theory, research, and practice

Am Psychol. 2000 Jun;55(6):626-36. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.55.6.626.


For decades, coping researchers have used between-person designs to address inherently within-person questions derived from theory and clinical practice. The authors describe recent developments in the use of within-person, process-oriented methods that examine individuals intensively over time. Ongoing studies of stress and alcohol consumption, the effects of depression on adaptational processes, and the temporal dynamics of coping with chronic pain demonstrate that by tracking rapidly fluctuating processes such as mood and coping close to their real-time occurrence, daily process designs offer unique insights into conceptually and clinically challenging questions. Such designs also provide new opportunities to examine the purported mechanisms of therapeutic interventions. Despite its demands on participants and investigators, daily process research offers fresh opportunities to link psychological theory, research, and practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pain / psychology
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Research Design*