Discussion Questions

A. How good are we in appraising threats that we encounter? If you think that we are not particularly adept in this regard, then is there anything that can be done to enhance our abilities in appraising stressors and in making decisions about what should be done in the face of threats?

B. It is often believed that greater use of emotion-focused coping is related to greater instances of depression. However, the simplicity of this argument fails to consider instances when such coping strategies may be beneficial. Discuss briefly how emotion-focused coping can be adaptive and provide an example of how problem-focused coping can be maladaptive.

C. Unsupportive interactions have been shown to be more detrimental than simply a lack of available support. What is meant by unsupportive interactions and what makes them so devastating?

D. Older age is characterized by a number of stressors related to social functioning. Provide examples related to social stressors older age individuals may experience, and is there anything that can be done to diminish the occurrence and impact of these experiences?

E. Are women more or less hardy and resilient than men? Why did you answer this as you did? In this respect, consider both biological and social factors.

F. Stressors experienced by a pregnant woman can have detrimental effects on the well-being of her offspring. Is it also the case that stressors encountered in the months preceding pregnancy could have similar adverse effects, and why might this occur?

G. Civil wars and many other traumatic experiences have taken a horrible toll on a great number of people in various countries. What can we expect the effects will be in the next generation of survivors of these terrible experiences and what processes might operate to produce these outcomes? Do you believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will have similar intergenerational consequences?

H. Given what you know about appraisal and coping processes, what advice would you give someone dealing with a severe life stressor? Would your answer be dependent on what the stressor comprised, or do you believe that a general principle applies to all situations?