Coping with stress (wykład) - 2019/2020

Course description
General information
Lecturer:dr Ewa Sokołowska
Organising unit:Faculty of Social Sciences - Instytut Psychologii
Number of hours (week/semester): 30
Language of instruction:English
Course objective
This course focuses on theories, methods and applications of stress and coping research. The goals of the course are to:
C1. provide an understanding of the conceptual and methodological definitions of stress and coping;
C2. delineate the physiological and psychological responses to stress;
C3. examine the moderators and effectiveness of the stress and coping process.
High intermediate level of English (B2).
Learning outcomes
Students know/understand:
W1. many types of coping responses to stress;
W2. the complex relationship between stress and physical health;
W3. stress management techniques their effectiveness in dealing with their own personal challenges;
W4. the categories of coping strategies and coping styles;
W5. how stress responses influence physiology and health outcomes.

Students can:
U1. describe the transactional model of stress and coping, and apply the model to specific situations that people encounter.
U2. outline the methodological strengths and weaknesses of research-based articles in the stress literature.
W3. apply stress management principles in order to achieve high levels of performance.
K1. apply specific strategies that may improve their own physiological or emotional stress responses in various life circumstances, e.g. work, unemployment, life crises, etc.
Teaching method
MM presentation, analysis of articles (discussion); exercises
Course content description
1. Stress – theory
1.1. Cannon-Bard: The Emergency Theory
1.2. Seyle’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
1.3. Janis: Psychological stress
1.4. Seligman: Theory of learned helplessnes
[Exercise a: definitions of stress. Questions you need to write an essay: What is stress? Is there good/ positive stress versus bad/ negative stress?]
2. Physiological and psychological responses to stress
[Exercise b: causes and manifestations of stress. Questions: What causes stress? What are the symptoms of stress? Exercise c: models of stress. Exercise d: measure of stress. Question: How can we measure stress?]
3. Coping – theory
3.1. Transactional Model of Stress and Coping by Lazarus and Folkman
3.2. Revised transactional model by Folkman and Moskowitz
3.3. Conservation of Resources Theory (COR) by Hobfoll
3.4. Proactive coping theory by Schwarzer
3.5. Antonovsky: Salutogenic Model of Health
[Exercise e: definitions of coping. Question: What is coping? Exercise f: models of coping Exercise g: moderators and effectiveness of the stress and coping process]
4. Methods of coping with stress
[Exercise g: Measuring coping. Questions: What is a good tool to measure coping? How to measure coping strategies/ styles?]
5. Developmental perspectives on stress and coping
[Questions: How stress and coping process change across the lifespan? What is stress in the context of childhood?]
6. Social aspects of stress and coping
[Exercise i: gender, stress and coping. Question: How sex is empirically and conceptually related to the experience of stressful life events and coping with stressful life events?]
[Exercise i: affiliation and stress.]
7. Stress-Related Disease: A Review
[Questions: How stress affects your health? What is stress-related disease? What is PTSD?]
8. Coping interventions
[Questions: What is coping intervention? What coping strategies can help manage stress?]
Forms of assessment
Your presence in the classes is obligatory. However, if you are not able to attend a certain class you can make up for your absence. You will be requested to do all the exercises that have been done on the said day and to submit them by email.

Students are asked to present a small paper (an essay of 1-2 pages) which is an answer to one of the questions presented in the syllabus. As your bibliography you must use at least one article or one book published in the last 5 years.

Every participant of the course should take part in two quizzes: one before the beginning of the classes to test your already existing knowledge and a progress test after 30 hours of classes. The quiz test are to be done in English]
Required reading list
Required reading list:
Folkman, S. (2011). The Oxford Handbook of stress, health, and coping. New York: Oxford University Press.

Additional material:
1. Donoghue, K. J. (2004). Measuring Coping: Evaluating the psychometric properties of the COPE. Retrieved from
2. Folkman, S., Moskowitz ,J. (2000). Positive Affect and the Other Side of Coping. American Psychologist, 55 (6), 647-654.
3. Kottler, J.A., Chen, D.D (2011). Stress, management and prevention. Applications to Daily Life. New York, NY: Routledge.
4. Sanderson, C. A. (2004). Stress. In: Health Psychology (pp. 91-143). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
5. Skinner, El. A., Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J. (2016). Stress, neurophysiology, social relationships, and resilience during childhood and adolescence. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
6. Steptoe, A., Ayers, S. (2005). Stress, health and illness. In: St. Sutton, A. Baum & M. Johnston (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Health Psychology (pp. 169-196). London, UK: Sage Publications.
7. Rice, V.H. (ed.) (2000). Handbook of stress, coping, and health. London, UK: Sage Publications.
8. Taylor, Sh. E. (2009). Stress and coping. In: Health Psychology (pp. 145-198). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Field of study: Psychology
Course listing in the Schedule of Courses:
Year/semester:Year II - Semester 3
Number of ECTS credits: 6
Form of assessment: Examination
Year/semester:Year III - Semester 5
Number of ECTS credits: 6
Form of assessment: Examination
Year/semester:Year IV - Semester 7
Number of ECTS credits: 6
Form of assessment: Examination