Coping profiles, perceived stress and health-related behaviors: a cluster analysis approach

Abstract : Using cluster analytical procedure, this study aimed (i) to determine whether people could be differentiated on the basis of coping profiles (or unique combinations of coping strategies); and (ii) to examine the relationships between these profiles and perceived stress and health-related behaviors. A sample of 578 French students (345 females, 233 males; Mage= 21.78, SDage= 2.21) completed the Perceived Stress Scale-14 (Bruchon-Schweitzer, 2002), the Brief COPE (Muller and Spitz, 2003) and a series of items measuring health-related behaviors. A two-phased cluster analytic procedure (i.e. hierarchical and non-hierarchical-k-means) was employed to derive clusters of coping strategy profiles. The results yielded four distinctive coping profiles: High Copers, Adaptive Copers, Avoidant Copers and Low Copers. The results showed that clusters differed significantly in perceived stress and health-related behaviors. High Copers and Avoidant Copers displayed higher levels of perceived stress and engaged more in unhealthy behavior, compared with Adaptive Copers and Low Copers who reported lower levels of stress and engaged more in healthy behaviors. These findings suggested that individuals’ relative reliance on some strategies and de-emphasis on others may be a more advantageous way of understanding the manner in which individuals cope with stress. Therefore, cluster analysis approach may provide an advantage over more traditional statistical techniques by identifying distinct coping profiles that might best benefit from interventions. Future research should consider coping profiles to provide a deeper understanding of the relationships between coping strategies and health outcomes and to identify risk groups.
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Health Promotion International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014, 〈10.1093/heapro/dau090〉
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Julie Doron, Raphaël Trouillet, Anaïs Maneveau, Dorine Neveu, Gregory Ninot. Coping profiles, perceived stress and health-related behaviors: a cluster analysis approach. Health Promotion International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014, 〈10.1093/heapro/dau090〉. 〈hal-01579211v2〉

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