Get access

Coping Strategies Predictive of Adverse Outcomes among Community Adults


  • This research was supported in part by grants from Eli Lilly and Company, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Research and Development (Health Services Research and Development Service, RCS 00-001), and by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA Grant AA15685).

  • Erin Woodhead was funded by the VA GRECC Special Fellowship Program in Advanced Geriatrics during her work on this project.

  • Donna Wu Roybal, Jacob Robson, Ilana Mabel, Genery Booster, Antony Yiu, and Victor Thompson assisted with data collection, and Genery Booster, Erin Ingudomnukul, and Paty Henderson helped set up the data base.

  • The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.



To examine associations between coping strategies at baseline and adverse outcomes 13 years later, and whether gender and age moderated these associations.


Participants (N = 651) completed a survey on demographic characteristics, coping strategies, and psychosocial outcomes (negative life events, alcohol consumption, drinking problems, and suicidal ideation).


At the follow-up (N = 521), more use of avoidance coping was associated with more drinking problems and suicidal ideation at follow-up. Men high in avoidance coping reported more alcohol consumption and suicidal ideation at follow-up than did men low on avoidance coping. Younger adults high in avoidance coping reported more negative life events at follow-up than did younger adults low on avoidance coping.


Reliance on avoidance coping may be especially problematic among men and younger adults.