Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 3 Issue 4 (November 1993), Pages fmi-fmi, 235-342

Coping and the intensity of nursing stressors (pages 299-311)


Researchers typically use stressors to predict coping. However, if the relationships between the different components of the stress and coping processes are bidirectional, it is equally important to focus on the effect of coping on stressors. Using a sample of 2,500 nurses working in general and obstetric hospitals throughout New Zealand, this research examined the association between the frequency of the nurses' coping, and the intensity of their work stressors. Instruments for measuring stressor frequency, tension and fatigue, and coping strategies were developed specifically for a nursing population. The results indicated that more reliance on coping strategies was associated with more stressors, tension and fatigue. The nurses' somewhat greater reliance on emotion‐focused coping strategies may reflect the lack of resources and control available to nursing staff. using the different stressor scores, high and low stress groups were identified for each stressor. Coping strategies discriminated the high stress from the low stress group, confirming that more frequent coping is associated with more stress intensity. These findings were discussed in terms of methodology, measurement strategies and stress management programmes.

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