Dispositional and contextual perspectives on coping: toward an integrative framework

J Clin Psychol. 2003 Dec;59(12):1387-403. doi: 10.1002/jclp.10229.


The clinical disciplines have witnessed a rapidly growing literature on the conceptualization and measurement of coping and on the role of coping in confronting stressful life circumstances and maintaining adaptive functioning. This literature has spawned a diversity of concepts and contrasting perspectives on the determinants and effects of coping. To address this complexity, we comment on dispositional and contextual perspectives on the coping process, describe the domains of coping styles and coping skills, and review some measures of these constructs. Next, we present a conceptual framework that integrates key aspects of these constructs and use the framework to guide a selective review of the linkages between personal and social resources, coping skills, and adaptive functioning. We then consider applications of the framework to clinical practice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality
  • Problem Solving
  • Recurrence
  • Social Support