3 Coping and Social Support

Health Psychology


  1. Melissa S. Xanthopoulos PhD1,
  2. Lauren C. Daniel PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop209003

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Xanthopoulos, M. S. and Daniel, L. C. 2012. Coping and Social Support. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 9:II:3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

  2. 2

    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Department of Oncology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


The literature examining the interaction among cognitions, emotions, and the functioning of various biological systems, as well as diseases of those biological systems, has exploded in the past 30 years. Particular emphasis has been placed on constructs that may be associated with positive and negative psychological and physical outcomes. Coping and social support are two such constructs and are some of the most commonly researched topics in health psychology. These constructs have been hypothesized to relate to health behaviors and wellness, disease prevention and development, and adaptation and experience of disease. The evolution of the study of stress, coping, social support, and health (physical and psychological) has grown in breadth, depth, and complexity. This chapter represents an update to the one published in the first edition of this book authored by Dr. Sharon Manne. Given the proliferation of research in this area, an exhaustive review is beyond the scope of this chapter. As in the first edition, each section is divided into current theoretical perspectives and descriptive studies of coping and social support in the context of health and chronic illness. Each section culminates in a discussion of key challenges and areas for future research.


  • coping;
  • social support;
  • negative emotion;
  • positive emotion;
  • health