Eye of the Beholder: Perceived Stress, Coping Style, and Coping Effectiveness Among Discharged Psychiatric Patients

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Abstract

Sources of perceived stress, coping style and coping efficacy were investigated among psychiatric patients being discharged to the community. The study's purpose was to (i) qualitatively characterize sources of perceived stress; (ii) identify preferred coping styles, and (iii) test the effectiveness of coping styles. Thematic coding of participants' narratives revealed that dominant stressors were family relationships, mental health symptoms, and employment issues. Consistent with previous findings among non-clinical samples, problem-focused coping styles were predictive of decreased perceived stress and increased perceived efficacy, whereas emotion-oriented coping styles were negatively associated with these outcomes. Contrary to hypotheses, avoidance coping styles was unrelated to outcomes.

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