Presenter Information

Kendall LawleyFollow

Presentation Title

One Nation Under Threat: Coping in Response to Political Stress

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

In spite of the current political climate in the United States, research on stress and coping has not typically been applied to politics. In the current study, concepts from stress and health psychology literature were adapted to evaluate participant responses to contemporary politics. The researchers measured participants’ ratings of issue importance, manipulated challenge appraisal, and tested their interactive effects on situational demand and on participants’ feelings of coping with the current federal administration. Participants were recruited from Mechanical Turk and Western Washington University’s campus, and only those who indicated they were strongly opposed to the current U.S. federal government were invited to participate in this online experiment (N =204). Issue importance was used as a moderator of the link between appraisal condition (threat or challenge) and coping. Results indicated the challenge manipulation promoted more coping resources for those who saw politics as especially important. However, those who saw politics as relatively less important reported more coping resources in the threat condition. A similar interaction between importance and condition was found for demand appraisal. Further, those who rated politics as more important reported greater demand overall, more coping resources, and less positive reframing. Additionally, open ended participant responses to the threat and challenge appraisal conditions were analyzed and used to illustrate important findings. Results were consistent when age, gender, and sample were considered. These findings suggest it is possible to promote adaptive coping with stressful political situations that are initially appraised as uncontrollable. Keywords: Politics, stress, coping, threat, challenge, reappraisal, issue importance

Start Date

10-5-2018 11:30 AM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 10th, 11:30 AM

One Nation Under Threat: Coping in Response to Political Stress

In spite of the current political climate in the United States, research on stress and coping has not typically been applied to politics. In the current study, concepts from stress and health psychology literature were adapted to evaluate participant responses to contemporary politics. The researchers measured participants’ ratings of issue importance, manipulated challenge appraisal, and tested their interactive effects on situational demand and on participants’ feelings of coping with the current federal administration. Participants were recruited from Mechanical Turk and Western Washington University’s campus, and only those who indicated they were strongly opposed to the current U.S. federal government were invited to participate in this online experiment (N =204). Issue importance was used as a moderator of the link between appraisal condition (threat or challenge) and coping. Results indicated the challenge manipulation promoted more coping resources for those who saw politics as especially important. However, those who saw politics as relatively less important reported more coping resources in the threat condition. A similar interaction between importance and condition was found for demand appraisal. Further, those who rated politics as more important reported greater demand overall, more coping resources, and less positive reframing. Additionally, open ended participant responses to the threat and challenge appraisal conditions were analyzed and used to illustrate important findings. Results were consistent when age, gender, and sample were considered. These findings suggest it is possible to promote adaptive coping with stressful political situations that are initially appraised as uncontrollable. Keywords: Politics, stress, coping, threat, challenge, reappraisal, issue importance