The report outline various activities that were undertaken to get the best results that could determine the different levels of stress coping that individuals went through in their day-to-day lives. Different processes were followed to establish how stress varies between genders. The hypothesis of the report was that men experiences stress in a different way as compared to women, and they also handle and cope with stress in different approaches. The research used various mechanisms of collecting data and analyzing to come up with a strong conclusion. Among the methods, psychological objectives were the main concern of the project and determining how people deal with various situations in their lives.
Stress refers to a psychological suffering, which a person goes through when he or she fails to react sufficiently to the physical, emotional, or mental needs. The needs could be actual or some desires. The basic appearance of an individual like character or emotion, if psychological or physical can determine a person as being under stress or not, for instance, when a person loses some they loved most. An individual could experience upsetting emotions like shock, guilt, nightmares, or even anger (Hans, 1956).
On the other hand, coping is a specified psychological strategy on method of handling and managing stressful needs by raising pressure to navigate and minimize the gap between dispute and solution, such as in the case above. The person regularly starts to mourn. Mourning happens in various methods based on the impact of the loss and the surrounding of the effected person. One could admit the reality and choose to face the loss straight or seek counseling from a psychotherapist or can also choose to share the loss with friends and relatives. There are different types of coping that people apply when they are in difficult situations. The ones discussed in the report include emotion-focused coping, which entails management and minimizing of emotional needs and miseries. It may comprise plans such as characters change like looking for emotional support by the therapist or friend, forgiveness, or abusing drugs. Problem-focused coping entails managing and handling the underlying influences of miseries directly. It entails seeking for the actual cause of the misery, structuring a plan on how to handle the challenge, and ideal solution to the misery. Positive coping happens when a person admits the suffering and considers it as an opportunity. For example, a student may take his or her persistent failure in exams as an opportunity to work harder to improve their grades on the re-sit. Negative coping on the other hand happens when a person fails to know the reason of misery and chose quick alternatives, which could be short-lived (Snyder, 1999).
The gender variances in coping styles are theoretically suggested to be due to cultural settings and social distinctions between male and females. Because of gender differences in socialization, females who portray gender duties undergo more stresses than their colleagues’ men or those who shows non-traditional gender duties. Women mainly display emotion-focused coping style meaning that they likely rely on their men to handle primary cause of the misery (Matud, 2004).
The objective of this research is to establish the gender differences in stress levels because depended on the previous research, males, and females undergo and manage stress differently. Furthermore, the research is focused at discovering which coping styles are liked by what gender; are they more negative coping styles, or the more positive coping styles?
The DASS stress scale and subscales of the COPE were compiled into a questionnaire together with demographic questions (such as age and gender). The survey was finished online (i.e. the university’s intranet) by the application of Opinio software. Once the participants had read the information sheet, they completed the anonymous questionnaire in their own time. Completing the survey meant informed approval.
The DASS stress scale was applied to calculate participants’ observed level of stress. This scale comprises of 14 elements and participants are asked to show how much each statement conform to them over the past week. Statements were scored on a scale of 1 to 4 with 1 = did not apply to me at all and 4 = applied to me very much, or frequently.
Subscales of the COPE were applied to calculate positive and negative coping types. This scale comprises of 28 elements, 18 of which are positive coping elements and 10 of which are negative coping elements. Participants are asked to point what they usually do and feel when they are faced with stressful incidents. Each element is scored on a scale from 1 to 4 with 1 = I normally do not do this at all to 4 = I normally do this often.
The research was carried out with the intention of finding out how individuals confront and handle stress in their lives. There are many ways used to manage stress. This questionnaire asks people to just point what they generally do and feel when they are affected by stressful or difficult times. Significantly, different incidents have somewhat varying reactions; however, one was to be specific in showing what they do when they are faced with such cases themselves.
From the sample and information collected, it is evident that there were many females than males. From the 384 students sampled, we can see that 329 were females representing 85.7% of the population sampled, while there were only 55 males, which represents 14.3% of the total sample. Comparing the three modes of scores i.e. DASS stress score, positive and negative coping, we realized that positive coping gives the highest and results with the scores ranging from 19-67 and having a mean of 44.07. This also shows that it has the highest range as compared to the other two. This is then followed by DASS stress score with a mean of 29.08 and a range of 42 which closely follows the positive coping and lastly we have the negative coping which generally is not applied by most people and hence have got the least mean of 16.68 and a range of 25. This implies that most people do not commonly apply the style. The age range of 17-69 was the most applicable since stress is mainly related to the adult individuals because of the many different challenges faced in their day-to-day lives. Adults usually try as much as possible to make ends meet and thus that is where the stress comes about (Weiten & Lloyd, 2004).
A DASS stress scale was used as with a gender roles and sex as the independent variable and problem-focused and emotion-focused styles as the dependent variables. For problem focused coping style, females with traditional duties score considerably lower than males with the same duties. As hypothesized, men who portray traditional gender roles observed less stress than women who portray traditional gender roles and used the problem-focused coping style. Women who portray traditional gender roles observed more stress than men who portray gender roles and used the emotion-focused coping style. Men and women who show nontraditional gender roles display no appearances in observation of stress and application of coping styles. From the sampled population we realized that most women than men suffer a great deal of stress. The research also shows that most women will like speak out their problems than men and that is why we have out of the 384 students, 329 are females (85.7% of sample). This is because most men when given the questionnaires to answer the questions they tend to shy away while a few would respond. On the other hand, most women when given a chance they would want to share all their lives experiences as long as their privacy is assured (Suldo et.al, 2008).
The age differences between men and women also vary considerably. Most men start experiencing stress at the age of 18 years and most of them will hardly exceed the age of 56 years hence the research dealt with the range of 18-56 years for males. On the other hand, women are known to mature faster than men do and thus will start experiencing stress at different age, i.e. 17 years and on the contrary, they live longer again than men hence the research dealt with a range of 17-69 years of age. The mean and standard deviation have slight differences for both males and females because most students in college or in any institutions always have the same characteristics. If they are in college for instance, most of them will have same ages with slight or no age differences in both (Suldo et.al, 2008).
The stress issues in both sexes are related or caused by different issues and women scored highly in all the areas regardless of all being in the same environment. Women are equating their life incidents as more negative and less manageable than men are. Additionally, in the subscale of COPE, we found out that 18 out of the 28 items are positive coping items while the remaining 10 items are the negative coping items. From these, females pointed family and health associated incidents as their main cause of stress, while males cited relationships, finances, and work related incidents as their main concern for stress. The women scored considerably higher than men did on both positive and negative coping style implying that men have more emotional inhibition than women do. The research also indicates that gender role and sex have an influence on the way males and females observe stress (Folkman & Moskowitz, 2004).
Despite the fact that few men were questioned, the outcome of this research shows that women undergo a lot of stress than men and their coping style is more emotion-focused than how men react to their environment. The differences also in coping style can be attributed to their varying personality styles. Men and women’s distinction in how they handle and manage stress could be bigger than just an interesting perception. It may account for variance in their longevity and health.
Folkman, S. and Moskowitz, J. T. (2004). Coping: Pitfalls and promise. Annual review of
Psychology, 55, 745-774.
Lengua, L. J., and Stormshak, E. A. (2000). Gender, gender roles, and personality: gender
differences in the prediction of coping and psychological symptoms. Sex Roles, 43, 787-
Matud, M. P. (2004). Gender differences in stress and coping styles. Personality and Individual
Differences, 37, 1401-1415.
Selye, H. (1956). The Stress of Life, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Snyder, C. R. (Ed.). (1999). Coping: The psychology of what works. New York: Oxford
Suldo, S. M., Shaunessy, E., and Hardesty, R. (2008). Relationships among stress, coping, and
mental health in high-achieving high school students. Psychology in the Schools, 45,
Weiten, W. & Lloyd, M. A. (2006). Psychology Applied to Modern Life. Thomson Wadsworth: