How Culture Affects the Way People Cope With Their Problems

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How Culture Affects the Way People Cope With Their Problems

Problems teaches a life lessons / Photo by Getty Images


People encounter problems in their lives every day. Life wouldn’t be complete if a person will not experience any obstacle once in a while, and sometimes, it is how life teaches a lesson on how they cope with their problems. When people encounter problems, they sometimes have their own way of coping or a coping mechanism which helps them in facing stress or trauma in order for them to handle their emotional well-being.

Moreover, in relation with how people cope with their problems and stress, Science Daily recently shared that there is a connection on how people cope with their predicaments and their culture. In a study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, they noted that cultural differences are strongly tied with how people cope with natural disasters which could cause them to have traumatic experiences.

According to social work professors Tara M. Powell and Kate Wegmann, they started the study on youth group who recently encountered traumatic events on their lives in order to know how they are going to cope with the experience and how high are the chances that these youth could develop mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. As they studied the hurricane-stricken states, they found out that the youth’s culture in resilience greatly affects their coping behavior.

Their study found out that middle class and upper-class groups who experience natural calamities values the individualism among them making it harder for them to be resilient. Furthermore, coping skill can be conceptualized as a combination of coping style and range of implementable coping strategies. Coping style is a mixture of attributional style and personality characteristics, such as risk tolerance, sense of self-efficacy, and introversion and extroversion.


Coping is our response in dealing with problems to reduce stress / Photo by Getty Images


Coping Mechanism

Coping refers to the human behavioral process for dealing with demands, both internal or external, in situations that are perceived as threats. In the case of coping, threats are not the only situations in which we are in physical danger, but also situations in which a piece of yourself is in danger. These threats manifest in a wide range of situations, from dealing with a romantic rejection to dealing with the loss of a spouse. The more serious the threat, the more effective the coping must be.

Coping occurs in response to psychological stress usually triggered by changes in an effort to maintain mental health and emotional well-being. Life stressors are often described as negative events; however, positive changes in life can also contribute to life stressors, thus requiring the use of coping skills to adapt. Coping strategies are the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that people use in order to adjust to the changes that happen in life.

Likewise, according to a web post by Genetic Engineering News, they shared that scientists from Texas A&M University have identified the part of the brain that is responsible for producing fear. This discovery could help the patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder to have a new medication that will combat their psychiatric disorder. The researchers found out that there is a small portion in the thalamus region known as nucleus reuniens which play a role in responding in fear.

Coping styles can be problem-focused also called instrumental or emotion-focused. Problem-focused coping strategies are typically associated with methods of dealing with the problem in order to reduce stress, while emotion-focused mechanisms can help people handle any feelings of distress that result from the problem.

Coping Strategies

Hundreds of coping strategies have been identified throughout the years. Classification of these strategies into a broader architecture has not been agreed upon and common distinctions are often made between various contrasting strategies, for example, problem-focused versus emotion-focused; engagement versus disengagement; cognitive versus behavioral.

Among researchers, coping styles are commonly assigned broad categories that draw distinctions between methods. Coping is identified as being either active or avoidant. Active coping strategies involve an awareness of the stressor, followed by attempts to reduce the negative outcome. By contrast, avoidant coping is characterized by ignoring the issue, often resulting in activities that aid in the denial of the problem.

According to a web post by Very Well Mind, they shared that one of the most advisable coping strategies that the person should calm their physiology state in order to reverse their stress. The article also stressed that when a person is stressed, they tend to act differently and they’re emotions and physical state is also changing. The stress from this change could take a toll on their emotional well-being and thus, affecting their way of maintaining their mental health state.

There are many coping styles that people use, and some may prove more effective than others, depending on the nature of the stressful situation and the person who is employing them. Ineffective coping mechanisms, also referred to as maladaptive coping, may also be applied to stressful events or internal conflict, often unconsciously. Maladaptive coping mechanisms are counterproductive.



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