Silver Linings and Candles in the Dark: Differences Among Positive Coping Strategies in Predicting Subjective Well-Being

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Ideal coping strategies enhance positive aspects of well-being as well as reduce distress. Although researchers have identified several “positive coping” strategies, it is unclear which are most strongly associated with well-being or whether all strategies are equally appropriate for all kinds of stressors. Participants completed well-being measures, and described the most negative event of the day and their emotion regulation strategies for the next 7 days. Dispositional use of positive emotion-inducing coping strategies was most strongly associated with positive aspects of well-being. Use of positive coping did not decrease with increased objective stress during the week, and use of particular strategies was partly predicted by the types of stressors that were reported. Implications for theories of positive coping are discussed.

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