Coping diversity: Guide

Dr Marlize Malan van Rooyen| View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Conceptual Framework

Note: This conceptual framework is a shortened version of the original conceptual framework presented in the actual PhD thesis.

When faced with adversity individuals experience stress, which necessitates coping. Coping involves using coping resources in attempts to mediate adversity. The environment (cultural, social and physical) in which an individual is situated determines the following:

  • the type of adversity individuals face.
  • which coping resources individuals have at their disposal.
  • the way in which individuals use these resources.

The outcome of coping can reduce, sustain or increase adversity. Over time the function of coping can either contribute to a person’s resilience (in which case the coping is considered as adaptive coping) or hinder a person’s resilience (in which case the coping is considered as maladaptive coping). Insight into the knowledge system which underpins an individual’s coping behaviour could provide insight into their behaviour aimed at mediating adversity and could eventually guide support provided to these individuals.

The following questions can be deducted from the conceptual framework:

  • which cultural values (as reflected by an individual’s knowledge systems) guide the learner’s behaviour?
  • what adversity is the learner facing?
  • what coping resources does the learner have?
  • how does the learner use the coping resources?
  • which of the coping behaviours are adaptive?
  • which of the coping behaviours are maladaptive?
  • how can existing adaptive coping behaviours be reinforced?
  • how can new adaptive coping behaviours be established?
  • how can maladaptive coping behaviours be eliminated?