CURRENTLY, interest in coping strategies is considerable. The coping behavior first investigated was that of persons involved in acute crises, eg, severe burn victims,1,2 grieving relatives,3 surgical patients,4 and parents of children with malignant diseases.5,6
Studies have also been done on major psychosocial transitions, eg, high school to college,7,8 marriage,9-11 and first pregnancy.12,13 Murphy14 wrote extensively on coping strategies in childhood. Mechanic15 studied students under stress; Lazarus16 discussed the coping process and psychological stress in general.
Much of this literature was recently reviewed by Hamburg and Adams17 from the vantage point of the seeking and utilizing of information under stressful conditions. Most of these studies were largely descriptive: observations from interviews from which it has been difficult to abstract general coping principles. One of the few coping instruments available is