Coping with recent life events: The interplay of personal and collective resources

Ofra Anson, Sara Carmel, Arieh Levenson, Dan Y. Bonneh, Benjamin Maoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The importance of personal and collective resources in coping with recent life events was studied among 230 kibbutz members. The sense of coherence, a global life orientation that detects the ability to avoid stressors and to choose appropriate coping strategies and resources, represented personal resources. Collective resources, embedded in the social system to which one belongs, were measured by membership in a religious kibbutz, the kibbutz being viewed as a powerful, collective-coping resource by itself. Physical well-being, psychological distress, and functional limitations were used as outcome measures. Both types of resources have a salutogenic effect, but sense of coherence appears to be a better resource for avoiding the effect of recent life events and for moderating psychological distress and functional limitation after experiencing such events. The two types of resources have no additive effect, nor do they compensate for each other. Only one significant interaction was found, suggesting that the combination of the two resources is useful in avoiding functional limitation. It is also suggested that collective resources have a slight positive effect on personal resources, which, in turn, take over and become most valuable in coping with recent life events. When stress affects social functioning, these same personal resources facilitate the mobilization of whatever collective resources are available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993

Keywords

  • Collective resources
  • Coping
  • Life events
  • Psychological distress
  • Sense of coherence
  • Stress

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