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on 15 April 2016

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Transcript of STRESS

Coping Styles
Stressful Life Events
South Asians vs East Asians

To examine the effect multilingualism, stressful life events, and ethnicity have on a person's style of coping.
Multilingualism Literature Review
Task-oriented Coping associated with more positive outcomes

Avoidance coping associated with negative outcomes

Emotion focused coping may be helpful in acute stages of stress but not longterm

Many studys showing a bilingual advantage in terms of executive functioning in people of all ages

Executive functions involve complex cognitions, such as solving novel problems, modifying behavior in the light of new information, generating strategies or sequencing complex actions


Implications for Research:
- Most of the literature on life event stress is dated
- Minimal studies on level of stress and coping styles in a Canadian population
- The results of this study can inform future research on what to expect when examining life event stress and coping styles within a Canadian population.

Implications for Practice:
- If H1 is supported, then psychotherapy can focus on changing less effective styles of coping in people who experience a high life event stress and teaching them more effective styles of coping.

- If gender differences are found, then effective coping strategies can be taught to the gender utilizing more ineffective means of coping to overcome this dispositional defecit.

- 2 Questionnaires


Sample of Convenience

400 adults from the general Canadian population between the ages of 21-65 years old

100 adults from the general Canadian population between the age of 18-65 years old

100 Canadian Students from York University (mean age = 19.5; 25 South Asian females, 25 East Asian females, 25 South Asian males, & 25 South Asian Males)
STRESS 8A - Vivien, Hamza, Krishowthana
Stressful Life Events Literature Review
Coping styles of South Asians and East Asians Literature Review
Indicates how much you engage in these types of activities when you encounter a difficult, stressful, or upsetting situation on a 1-5 Likert Scale

Sample items:

1. Schedule my time better.

2. Focus on the problem and see how I can solve it.

3. Think about the good times I've had.
- 3x4 ANOVA (Multilingualism)


- 3x3 ANOVA (Stressful Life Events)
- Chi-Square Test of Independence (Males vs Females in High Stress Situation)

- Independent t-test (South Asians vs East Asians)


H1: High-Proficiency bilinguals utilize more adaptive coping strategies compared to other linguistic groups

H2: Bilinguals, despite level of proficiency, will exhibit more adaptive coping strategies than monolinguals, and multilinguals


H1: Individuals that have experienced a high amount of life event stress will utilize more emotion-focused and avoidance coping mechanisms compared to individuals that have experienced moderate or low amounts of life event stress.

H2: Males and females who have experienced a high amount of life event stress will differentiate on the coping mechanisms they utilize.


H1: South Asian students will be more likely to use emotional coping strategies than East Asian students when dealing with stressful situations.

H2: East Asian Canadian students will be more likely to use avoidance coping strategies in comparison to South Asian Canadian Students.
Stress -
State of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances

Stressful Life Event -
an event that causes a change in or requires readjustment of an average person's regular routine

Monolingualism -
Condition of being able to speak one language

Bilingualism -
Condition of being able to speak two languages

Multilingualism -
Condition of being able to speak more than 2 languages

South Asians -
People who immigrated from the Southern part of the Asian continent (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, & Sri Lanka)

East Asians -
People who immigrated from the Southern part of the Asian continent (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, & Taiwan)
Coping styles overlap and can influence mechanisms used
CISS does not measure situation-specific coping
SRRS is finite in the number and types of life events it measures
The definition adaptive and maladaptive is fluid
Sample of convenience decreases external validity (generalization)
Self-report questionnaires increases participant and response bias
Test-Retest Reliability:
Males r = 0.55-0.73
Females r = 0.60 - 0.72

Internal Consistency Reliability:
Males a = 0.81-0.92
Females a = 0.76-0.90

"Factor analyses of the CISS attest to the multidimensionality for both the adult and adolescent versions"

"Both adult and adolescent versions have been extensively validated through numerous studies"

"Construct validity has also been determined by comparing the CISS with the Ways of Coping Questionnaire"
Coping -
A person's constant changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to manage specific external or internal demands that are appraised as taxing the resources of the person

Task-Oriented Coping
- Problem focused approach, taking direct action to reduce stress

Emotion-focused Coping
- Efforts directed to altering emotional response to stressor, may also include reframing of problem

Avoidance Coping
- Indirect approach to reduce stressor that include distancing from the problem, evading the stressor, or engaging in unrelated activities

Adaptive Coping
- Form of coping which effectively reduces stress and results in fewer adjustment problems

Maladaptive Coping
- Form of coping which does not effectively reduce stress and exacerbates adjustment problems

Participants will be recruited through various outlets within the community.
Two questionnaires will be administered to each participant, beginning with the CISS and followed by the SRRS as to counteract any influence from the items on the SRRS.
Total time to complete both questionnaires will be 15 minutes.
Questionnaires will be administered on paper format as well as on online-survey format.
Stress is a prevalent problem in students and the general public
It is imperative that people manage their stress to maintain psychological as well as physiological well-being
Findings from this research may reinforce strategies that can increase adaptive coping
These topics have been rarely discussed in the context of stress coping and towards a Canadian population.
Less time consuming
Low cost
Convenient data collection
Level of stress has not been examined in most earlier studies
Proficiency of language and connection to coping rarely discussed in bilingual studies

The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) is a 43 item inventory that measures the impact of common stressful life events on an individual's health.

Each life event is assigned a certain number of "life changing units" to reflect the amount of stress caused by it.

The numbers corresponding to the life events that occur within the past year of the individual's life are added up to provide an estimate of the total amount of stress experienced.
Sample Items:
1. Being fired at work (Mean Value: 47)

2. Changes in residence (Mean Value: 20)

3. Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or a lot less than usual) (Mean Value: 16)
Test-retest Reliability:

Spearman's Rank-Order Correlation

r= 0.89 - 0.96 for non-patient healthy adults

r= 0.70 - 0.91 for psychiatric patients


Several studies have shown a significant relationship between SRRS scores and symptoms of physical distress and psychological distress.

One study also found a significant relationship between SRRS scores and seeking professional aid for health-related issues in college students.
Individuals vary in their appraisal and response to stressful life events.

Negative events are more likely to be associated with impaired functioning than positive events.

High life event stress is associated with an increased probability of psychological impairment.

Utilizing good coping skills in response to life event stress reduces the likelihood of psychological impairment.

Task-oriented coping is negatively correlated with health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Emotion-focused coping is less effective than task-oriented coping and is more likely to be associated with psychological suffering.

Emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping are associated with high levels of stress while task-oriented coping is associated with low levels of stress.
Stressful Life Events Literature Review Continued
There are gender differences in how men and women appraise and cope with stress.

Women are more likely to appraise threatening events as more stressful than men.

Men are less likely to use emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping mechanisms than women.

Men are more likely to view work-related events as more stressful and women are more likely to view family-related events as more stressful.

Health-related stressors are associated with an increase in emotion-focused coping and work-related stressors are associated with an increase in task-oriented coping.

Current project: to examine the relationship between the level of stress and the degree to which certain coping mechanisms are utilized within a Canadian population and to confirm if gender differences hold true within a Canadian population as well.
Andrews, G., Tennant, C., Hewson, D. M., & Vaillant, G. E. (1978). Life event stress, social support, coping style,
and risk of psychological impairment.
The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 166
(5), 307-316.

Bieliauskas, L. A., & Webb, J. T. (1974). The social readjustment rating scale: Validity in a college population.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 18
(2), 115-123.

Billings, A., & Moos, R. (1981). The role of coping responses and social resources in attenuating the stress of
life events.
Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4
(2), 139-157.

Dabrowska, A., & Pisula, E. (2010). Parenting stress and coping styles in mothers and fathers of pre-school
children with autism and Down syndrome.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54
(3), 266-280.

Gerst, M. S., Grant, I., Yager, J., & Sweetwood, H. (1978). The reliability of the social readjustment rating scale:
Moderate and long-term stability.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 22
(6), 519-523.

Hastings, R., Kovshoff, H., Brown, T., Ward, N. J., Espinosa, F., & Remington, B. (2005). Coping strategies in
mothers and fathers of preschool and school-age children with autism.
Autism, 9
(4), 377-391.

Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research,
(2), 213-218.

Kobasa, S. C. (1979). Stressful life events, personality, and health: An inquiry into hardiness.
Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 37
(1), 1-11.

Matud, M. P. (2004). Gender differences in stress and coping styles.
Personality and Individual Differences,
(7), 1401-1415.
- Several types of internally targeted control strategies were more prevalent among East Asian participants where as self-enhancing interpretive control, was more prevalent among people with European background

- A study explored the coping strategies used by South Asian women suffering from depression. Findings revealed that coping strategies included religion and prayer, talking, crying and self harm.

- Asian Americans were also found to use more problem avoidance and social withdrawal coping strategies than Caucasian Americans.

- Asian Americans were found to report more depressive and psychological symptoms in comparison to Caucasian Americans

- Many studies compare these two ethnic groups with mostly Caucasian Americans.
- Few to none comparing these two groups within the Canadian population.
- South Asian community interms of stress coping strategies are largely unfound.
fMRI research has suggested more proficient cognitive processing as a result of bilingualism

No studies supporting a trilingual advantage

More proficient bilinguals found to perform significantly better than less-proficient bilinguals

Studies on executive functioning and coping have found that participants with higher executive control tend to exhibit more adaptive coping strategies

As many studies support a bilingual advantage in executive functioning, the current project seeks to examine if bilingual individuals will exhibit more adaptive coping styles
Multilingualism Literature Review Continued
Canada is known to be a mosaic of cultures and languages
Newer generation of Canadians however are displaying a myriad of language proficiencies
Movement toward assimilation

Practical implications
Reasses Canadian education system
Further research into the specific effects of bilingualism
Reinforce foreign language-learning as a therapy
Acharya M.P. & Northcott H.C. (2007) Mental distress and the coping strategies of elderly Indian immigrant women.
Transcultural Psychiatry 44,

Ahmad F., Shik A., Vanza R., et al. (2004) Voices of South Asian women: immigration and mental health.
Women and
Health 40
, 113–130.

Billings, A. G., & Moos, R. H. (1981). The role of coping responses and social resources in attenuating the stress of life
Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4
, 139-157.

Edward, C.C. (1996). Cultural differences in optimism, pessimism, and coping: Predictors of subsequent adjustment in
Asian American and Caucasian American college students.
J couns psychol, 43
(1), 113-123.

Feryad, H.A., & ray, C. (2002). Depression in South Asian women: Asian women's beliefs on causes and cures.
Health, Religion & Culture, 5
(3), 285-31.

Frey, L.L., & Roysircar, G. (2011). South Asian and East Asian International Students' Perceived Prejudice, Acculturation,
and Frequency of Help Resource Utilization.
J Multicult Couns Devel, 34
(4), 208-222.

Lam, A.G., & Zane N.W.S. (2004) Ethnic differences in coping with interpersonal stressors: a test of self-construals as
cultural mediators.
J Cross Cult Psychol 35,
446–59. doi: 10.1177/0022022104266108

Ritu,V.T. (2013).Acculturative Stress and Coping Strategies Used by Asian Indians Living in the United States :A
Quantitative and Qualitative Inquiry"(2013).
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http:/ / ecommons.luc.edu/ luc_diss/ 548

Tweed, R. G., White, K., & Lehman, D. R. (2004). Culture, stress, and coping: Internally- and externally-targeted control
strategies of European Canadians, East Asian Canadians, and Japanese.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35
, 652–668. doi:10.1177/0022022104270109

Yeh, C.J., Inman, A.G., Kim, A.B., & Okubo, Y. (2006). Asian American families' collectivistic coping strategies in response
to 9/11.
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology,12
(1), 134-148.

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British Journal of Psychology, 88,

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hypothesis for future research.
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 37(10)
, 2689-2698.

Brito, N. H., Grenell, A., & Barr, R. (2014). Specificity of the bilingual advantage for memory: Examining cued recall, generalization, and
working memory in monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual toddlers.
Frontiers in Psychology, 5

Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F. & Weintraub, J. K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach.
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Elliott, R. (2003). Executive functions and their disorders.
British Medical Bulletin, 65,

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Neuropsychology, Vol 29(1)
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Social Development, 13(3),


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NATALIE H. BRITO, NÚRIA SEBASTIÁN-GALLÉS and RACHEL BARR (2015). Differences in Language Exposure and its Effects on Memory
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Stress. 2015. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved May 8, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress

- Both ethnic groups are part of collectivist nations

- Studies have not been done to compare these two ethic groups

No representative general population data exist about the percent of South Asians

- Overall mental health has been assessed for depression has been covered

Practical Implication

- By knowing the coping styles, similarities in the cultural practices can be raised.

Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations
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