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Gender, Stress, and Coping
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In this chapter, I discuss how sex is empirically and conceptually related to the experience of stressful life events and coping with stressful life events. I also review the literature that has attempted to link these sex differences to social or psychological gender role characteristics. Sex not only may influence the stressors one faces and how one copes with stressors but also may influence the relation of stressful life events and coping to health. Thus, I address sex as a moderator variable. The section on stressful life events distinguishes between the experience and impact of stressful events as well as the different kinds of stressful events men and women face. The section on coping reflects the traditional ways of coping as well as work on specific aspects of coping, such as rumination and benefit-finding. The research reviewed spans childhood, adolescence, and early and later adulthood. The chapter concludes with an outline of directions for future research.