Coping diversity: Guide

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


Similar to coping resources, sources of stress (adversity) can be located within a person (intrapersonal), between people (interpersonal) or located within the physical environment. Adversity can also be episodic or chronic (Ebersöhn, 2013).

An example of intrapersonal adversity might be a learner faced with a specific learning disorder. This type of adversity is chronic in nature and the learner will have to cope with it throughout their educational career. An example of intrapersonal adversity that is episodic in nature could be a learner who falls ill but recovers over time. The learner has to cope with this adversity for a specific period of time only.

Interpersonal adversity might be a learner who grows up in a high conflict, adverse family environment. The learners experience this adversity as chronic. Episodic interpersonal adversity might involve a learner losing a significant other.

An example of adversity located in a learner’s physical environment is when a learner grows up in poverty. If the poverty is not elevated the adversity is chronic and often accumulative. Temporary loss of income is an example of episodic adversity located within the physical environment of a learner.