JOURNAL ARTICLE

Stress and coping in early psychosis. Role of symptoms, self-efficacy, and social support in coping with stress

E M Macdonald, S Pica, S Mcdonald, R L Hayes, A J Baglioni
British Journal of Psychiatry. Supplement 1998, 172 (33): 122-7
9764138

BACKGROUND: Although coping with stress is important in early psychosis, little is known about how this population copes with the range of stressors they encounter in their daily life. This study aims to identify how people with early psychosis cope with a range of stressful situations and to identify what factors might influence their use of coping strategies.

METHOD: Participants included a clinical group of 50 people with early psychosis and a non-clinical group of 22 people matched on age and gender. Data were obtained on symptomatology and social support for the clinical group, and stress and coping, and self-efficacy for all participants.

RESULTS: The clinical group reported coping less well than the non-clinical group and they most commonly used emotion-focused coping. For the clinical group, effective coping correlated with less severe negative symptoms, greater perceived self-efficacy, social support and greater use of problem-focused coping. Self-efficacy and social support predicted increased frequency of the use of problem-focused coping.

CONCLUSION: People with early psychosis who have greater feelings of self-efficacy and perceived social support, and the flexible use of problem-focused coping strategies, appear to be more likely to cope with day-to-day stressors.

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