Sex Differences in Coping Styles and Implications for Depressed Mood


Based on a sample of young adults in Miami-Dade County, Florida, this paper examined the extent to which there were sex differences in 3 coping style types: problem focused, emotion focused, and avoidance focused (Endler & Parker, 1990). Further examined were the extent to which sex differences in coping styles could be explained by sex differences in chronic strain; the extent to which sex differences in depressed mood could be explained by sex differences in coping style; and whether the effects of different coping style types on depressed mood varied by sex. Results suggested somewhat complex relationships among sex, coping, chronic strain, and depression. No sex differences in the use of problem-focused coping were observed when statistical controls for socioeconomic status were applied; however, women more often used avoidance-focused techniques. Although female respondents more often used emotion-oriented strategies compared to male respondents, such use did not prove to be fundamentally harmful for women. In fact, the effects of using emotion-focused strategies, such as the expression of feelings, reduced depressed mood for women, but not for men. Implications for practice and policy are discussed. © 2009 American Psychological Association.



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Journal of Stress Management


American Psychological Association

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