Stress, coping strategies, and perceived social support among adults with brain injuries
Gideon, Debbie Cassie
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The purpose of this study was to examine the stress level, coping strategies, and perceived social support among adults with brain injuries. This research was based on the stress and coping model delineated by Lazarus and Folkman (1984). The sample consisted of 130 research participants (86 men and 44 women), ranging in age from 19 to 72. Participants were obtained from support groups, conferences, and camps sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of Georgia and the Brain Injury Alliance of South Carolina. The research packet included a cover letter, the Demographic Questionnaire, the Index of Clinical Stress, the Coping with Health Injuries and Problems Scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. |Findings revealed a statistically significant negative correlation between stress level and overall perception of social support, as well as between stress level and perceived social support from a significant other. This suggests when individuals have a high overall perception of social support, particularly from a significant other, they experience lower stress levels; and as this perception decreases, their stress level increases. The findings also revealed a significant negative correlation between distraction coping strategies and stress level; this indicates as individuals increase their usage of distraction coping strategies their stress level decreases. Whereas, when they decrease their usage of distraction coping strategies their stress level increases. A significant positive correlation between emotional coping strategies and stress level was also found which indicates as individuals increase their use of emotional coping strategies their stress level increases, and when they decrease their use of emotional coping strategies their stress level decreases. No statistically significant differences were found between coping strategies of adults with brain injuries and time post injury, type of injury (open or closed), or level of injury (mild, moderate, severe).