Theory-based development of an experimental paradigm to examine the influence of coping on stress

Publication: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution - Published abstract for conference with selection processResearchpeer-review


The objective of this study is to develop an experimental paradigm to investigate the influence of different coping strategies on stress. As previous studies indicate, focus on positive strategies (e.g., acceptance) can be expected to decrease stress, whereas evasive coping strategies (e.g., denial) can be expected to increase stress.
Assuming a moderate effect (η² = 0.06) and a power of .80, the sample will comprise 55 physical education (PE) students. In a randomised-controlled design, participants will be distributed into four experimental groups and one control group (independent variable: coping; dependent variable: stress reaction). Initially, stress will be induced by means of a cover story stating that the aim of the study is to assess an individual‘s eligibility to become a PE teacher through two tasks. Subsequently, one of four coping strategies will be manipulated within the four experimental groups (focus on positive: participants reflect their benefits from the tasks; support coping: participants think about persons who could help; active coping: participants make a plan for handling the tasks: evasive coping: participants reflect their emotions). There will be no manipulation of coping within the control group. Stress will be measured psychologically (Visual Analogue Scale, Multidimensional Mood State Questionnaire) and physiologically (heart rate variability). Data will be analysed by ANOVA.
The experimental design is currently being tested in a pilot study. The results will be helpful to design coping interventions aimed at preventing chronic stress and related negative health outcomes (e.g., depression, cardiovascular diseases).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication32nd Conference of the EHPS Health Psychology across the lifespan : uniting research, practice and policy; 21-25 August 2018, Galway, Ireland;conference abstracts
Number of pages1
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society - Galway, Ireland
Duration: 21.08.201825.08.2018
Conference number: 32