Sense of coherence: its effects on psychological and physiological processes prior to, during, and after a stressful situation

J Clin Psychol. 1994 Jul;50(4):476-87. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(199407)50:4<476::aid-jclp2270500402>;2-9.


This study examined whether Antonovsky's (1987) stress-resistance construct, sense of coherence (SOC), affected individuals' psychological and/or physiological responses to a controlled stressful situation. Subjects were assessed for SOC level and then completed a battery of questionnaires before and after a stressful situation. Physiological responses were monitored during baseline, anticipation, and recovery periods. Analyses examined differences among low, middle, and high SOC groups and revealed group differences in psychological distress, cognitive appraisal, coping processes, and pulse rate. These results provide some support for the validity and utility of Antonovsky's SOC construct by indicating that low SOC subjects show more distress and appraise and cope with stressful situations in ways less likely to resolve or eliminate their distress.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Defense Mechanisms*
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Psychophysiology
  • Self Concept*
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology