The association of coping to physical and psychological health outcomes: a meta-analytic review

J Behav Med. 2002 Dec;25(6):551-603. doi: 10.1023/a:1020641400589.


We performed a series of meta-analyses examining the associations between coping and health-related outcomes in nonclinical adult samples. Results revealed that problem-focused coping was positively correlated with overall health outcomes, whereas confrontive coping, distancing, self-control, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, avoidance, and wishful thinking were each negatively correlated with overall health outcomes. Neither planful problem solving nor positive reappraisal was significantly associated with overall health outcomes in our analyses. However, type of health outcome (i.e., physical vs. psychological) and situational characteristics (i.e., stressor type, controllability, and duration) moderated many of the overall associations.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Self Concept
  • Sick Role
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*