Experimentally testing Taylor's stress, coping and adaptation framework

Yori Gidron, Ivan Nyklicek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Taylor (1995) constructed a comprehensive framework of stress and adaptation, which considers internal and external resources/impediments as moderators, based on previous studies and models. However, most past research used correlation designs and has not taken into account all of the framework's components within one study. This study tested the effects of the event (minor, major), primary appraisal (benign, severe), coping (problem-focused coping (PFC) versus emotion-focused coping), external resources (with/without social support), and internal impediments (hostility), on estimated distress (dependent variable) in written imagined stressful daily scenarios. All components except hostility were experimentally manipulated within subjects in the scenarios. The scenarios were rated by 281 Dutch students. The variables event, appraisal, and social support significantly and independently affected estimated distress. Event and appraisal synergistically interacted in relation to estimated distress. Finally, appraisal interacted with coping such that the distress-reducing effects of PFC occurred only in benign events, while coping did not affect estimated distress in severely appraised events. This study experimentally tested most components of Taylor's framework, and showed that events, appraisal, and social resources were independent determinants of estimated distress, and that appraisal interacts in a complex manner with the event and with coping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-535
Number of pages11
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Appraisal
  • Coping
  • Distress
  • Experimental study
  • Stress models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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