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Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2006;10(3):235-51.

Dispositional optimism and coping: a meta-analytic review.

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Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0044, USA.


The relation between dispositional optimism and better adjustment to diverse stressors may be attributable to optimism's effects on coping strategies. A meta-analytic review (K = 50, N = 11,629) examined the impact of dispositional optimism on coping. Dispositional optimism was found to be positively associated with approach coping strategies aiming to eliminate, reduce, or manage stressors or emotions (r = .17), and negatively associated with avoidance coping strategies seeking to ignore, avoid, or withdraw from stressors or emotions (r = -.21). Effect sizes were larger for the distinction between approach and avoidance coping strategies than for that between problem and emotion-focused coping. Meta-analytic findings also indicate that optimists may adjust their coping strategies to meet the demands of the stressors at hand, and that the optimism-coping relationship is strongest in English-speaking samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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