A critique of stress, anxiety and coping, and consequent addictions

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Jones, Irene
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research is to show that maladaptive coping, stress, anxiety and negative affect have implications on mental health; Higher levels of anxiety predict maladaptive coping; Adaptive coping produces better mental health; Those who experience higher levels of anxiety are more prone to smoke; Negative Affect, anxiety levels and maladaptive coping increase perceived stress; Maladaptive coping, poor mental health and anxiety increase levels of dependency; Higher levels of anxiety predict higher frequencies of alcohol drinking; Higher levels of negative affect predict higher frequencies of alcohol consumption; and Stress and anxiety effect eating patterns with women prone to eating more under stress. The sample population used in this research is a non-clinical sample. There are 82 respondents in the sample, of which 30.5% are male and 69.5% are female. The population of the sample were drawn together from Dublin Business School college undergraduates; full-time students and part time students covering the full range of the age group; also people from The Harvest Moon stress reduction centre in Dublin, and people from online anxiety forums (Social Anxiety Ireland and No panic Ireland) took part as respondents and collectively made up approximately ten 10% of the total group. The sample of respondents were selected under the condition that they were exposed to stressors or experiencing stress 6 short questionnaires were used; the General Health Questionnaire-12; the Generalised Anxiety Disorder-VII; the Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale; the Perceived Stress Scale; and also the Leed's Dependency Questionnaire. Instructions were given by the researcher and completion of questionnaires was supervised by the researcher in the case of all college student respondents. This research is of a correlational psychometric quantitative design. Anxiety accounts for 60% of the variance as a predictor for stress in this population sample. Adaptive coping does produce better mental health; higher anxiety levels predict maladaptive coping, stress and anxiety were not shown to effect eating patterns; higher levels of anxiety, stress and negative affect do not predict higher frequencies of alcohol consumption; higher levels of anxiety do not report more inclination to smoking; negative affect, anxiety levels and maladaptive coping is shown to increase perceived stress; maladaptive coping, anxiety and poor mental health were not supported to increase levels of dependency; and coping methods, stress, negative affect and anxiety are not shown to have implications on mental health in this sample of respondents.