Our coping style has certain implications for how we deal with stressful situations. Norman Endler and James Parker (1988) developed an inventory to assess individual’s coping styles. This 48-item inventory, the Coping Inventory of Stressful Situations, yields subscale scores along three different dimensions: task-oriented, emotion-oriented, and avoidance-oriented. People whose primary coping style is task-oriented tend to focus on the issues at hand. Those who deal with stress on an emotional level tend to immerse themselves in the feelings associated with the stressful situation. And finally, there are those who deal with stress by simply avoiding the situation altogether. All of us utilize each of these coping styles to different degrees. It is believed that people deal with mounting stress by resorting to their “primary” coping style. It is also possible, however, to develop multiple strategies for coping. Learning which coping strategy works best for a given situation is yet another way for individuals to deal with stress.

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