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Gerontologist. 2000 Jun;40(3):327-34.

The use of preexisting and novel coping strategies in adapting to age-related vision loss.

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Arlene R. Gordon Research Institute, Lighthouse International, New York, NY 10022-1202, USA.


Research has proposed that when faced with a stressor, individuals test novel coping strategies when preexisting strategies fail to reduce perceived threat. However, the utilization of novel coping strategies has received scant empirical attention. This study presents data in the form of spontaneous comments or responses to open-ended questions from three previous quantitative studies of adaptation to age-related vision loss (N = 155, 95, and 343 participants). Self-reported coping strategies were identified using a "Grounded Theory" approach, and then examined for evidence of whether the strategy was recently utilized (novel) or whether it had been used prior to vision loss (preexisting). Results supported the utilization of novel coping strategies in the process of adaptation to a chronic impairment among older adults. Overall, the use of novel coping strategies was found to be associated with better adaptational outcomes, emphasizing the importance of novel coping in response to stressful life circumstances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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