Chronic and acute stressors among military personnel: do coping styles buffer their negative impact on health?

J Occup Health Psychol. 2001 Oct;6(4):348-60.


This study examined the moderating impact of positive and negative coping styles on the relationship of acute and chronic job stressors with self-reported health symptoms of 521 military personnel. The number of acute work-related events was associated with a high frequency of self-reported symptoms. Similarly, role ambiguity, overload, and lack of job stimulation were associated with increased symptoms. Only the negative coping styles (i.e., venting of negative emotions and denial/disengagement) were uniquely associated with symptoms. Only 5 of the 13 proposed Stressor x Coping interactions were significant, and they all involved the negative coping styles. That is, instead of alleviating the negative outcomes of work stressors, these coping styles were associated with high strain, regardless of the amount of stressor, and, in some cases, these coping styles exacerbated the negative effect of the stressor on the strain outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological / classification*
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Denial, Psychological
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Negativism
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload / psychology