Coping Success and Its Relationship to Psychological Distress for Older Adults

Alex J. Zautra, Amy B. Wrabetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The role of coping success on psychosocial distress was investigated in 147 older adults who experienced a major health problem and 82 older adults who reported a major loss in the past 6 months. Home interviews provided data on satisfaction with coping efforts and negative changes associated with events. Significant predictors of coping success were identified and controlled for in subsequent analyses predicting mental health. Efficacy in coping with loss was associated with less psychological distress. Coping efficacy interacted with coping efforts in predicting distress for those with health downturns; efficacy in coping was associated with less distress only for those who were actively engaged in coping. Analyses of longitudinal data replicated the cross-sectional findings for coping with loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-810
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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