Adjustment to a Low-Control Situation: Reexamining the Role of Coping Responses

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The aim of the study was to test a revised conceptualization of the role of coping in adjustment to a low-control stressor—women's adjustment to a failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempt. Data were collected prior to the IVF treatment (Time 1) and twice after the failed IVF attempt (1 to 2 weeks after finding out the results, n = 171, and 6 weeks later, n = 139). Initial adjustment was assessed at Time 1, whereas measures of coping and both self-report and partner ratings of adjustment were obtained at Times 2 and 3. As predicted, escapist strategies and problem-management strategies (mainly at Time 2) were associated with poor adjustment, whereas problem-appraisal coping was associated with better adjustment. There was also support for the proposed positive relationship between adjustment and emotional approach coping (on self-report adjustment).

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