Coping resources, coping processes, and mental health

Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2007;3:377-401. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.3.022806.091520.


Coping, defined as action-oriented and intrapsychic efforts to manage the demands created by stressful events, is coming to be recognized both for its significant impact on stress-related mental and physical health outcomes and for its intervention potential. We review coping resources that aid in this process, including individual differences in optimism, mastery, self-esteem, and social support, and examine appraisal and coping processes, especially those marked by approach or avoidance. We address the origins of coping resources and processes in genes, early life experience, and gene-environment interactions, and address neural underpinnings of coping that may shed light on evaluating coping interventions. We conclude by outlining possible intervention strategies for improving coping processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological* / physiology
  • Genetics, Behavioral
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Neuropsychology
  • Social Environment
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology