ABSTRACT This article introduces the Journal of Personality's special issue on coping and personality. It first presents a historical overview of the psychological study of how people cope with stress and identifies three generations of theory and research: (a) the psychoanalysts and the ego development school, which tended to equate personality and coping strategies; (b) the transactional approach, which appeared in the 1960s and emphasized situational and cognitive influences on coping while downplaying the role of individual differences; and (c) the most recent, “third generation,” whose work is represented in this special issue and focuses on the role of personality in coping while maintaining strong operational distinctions among coping, personality, appraisal, and adaptational outcomes. This introduction concludes with a discussion of unresolved conceptual and methodological issues and a brief orientation to the third-generation articles that follow in this special issue.