to determine the differences that may exist in coping styles and levels of stress in men and women.
Despite the many studies that have been done on the relationship between stress and health, the
nature of this has not yet been clearly established (Matud, 2004). Coping has been defined as the
constantly changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to manage specific external and/or internal
demands that have been evaluated as taking up, or exceeding the resources of the person (Lazarus
and Folkman, n.d. as cited in Matud, 2004).
The term stress has been defined in various ways as many factors contribute to the incline of a
persons stress levels,eg: environment (stimuli) and life events. These are referred to as stressors.
When an individual's ability to adapt is challenged it causes physiological responses, such as
increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and the presence of hormones and neurotransmitters
(Selye, 1993). These reactions heighten the arousal of an organism to effectively deal with stress,
Selye et al., 1993. Suldo, Shaunessy and Hardesty (2008) discovered it is possible to adapt to
normal levels of stress; as this heightened arousal prepares an organism to effectively deal with
stress. When these levels exceed the normal levels often and/or for extended periods of time, health
and mood deteriorate, leading to positive rather than negative coping strategies.
Researchers, in particular Matud (2004) have conducted studies to discover which
gender is more susceptible to stress, the environmental and life events that contribute to increased
... middle of paper ...
... Matud (2004), who explored gender
differences in some stress process variables in a broad range of the general population. The aim of
the research conducted was to address the differences in stress between men and women, and their
differences in coping styles and emotional control Matud et al. In comparison to examining
subjects with similar life history and social roles, observing representatives of all the
sociodermographic groups could yield varied results. However, once these results are determined a
more accurate result can be achieved. It could be assumed that positive coping methods offered by
professionals, could be more effective if it is known how men and women cope with stress.
Although these coping strategies may vary in relation to men and women, the outcomes could be
more effective than a "one for all" solution.
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