Understanding the coping process from a self-determination theory perspective


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Nikos Ntoumanis, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK (e-mail: n.ntoumanis@bham.ac.uk).


Purpose To explore conceptual links between the cognitive-motivational-relational theory (CMRT) of coping (Lazarus, 1991) and self-determination theory (SDT) of motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

Method We present a very brief overview of the two theories. We also discuss how components from the two theories can be examined together to facilitate research in the health/exercise domain. To this effect, we offer a preliminary integrated model of stress, coping, and motivation, based on the two aforementioned theories, in an attempt to illustrate and instigate research on how motivational factors are implicated in the coping process.

Conclusion We believe that the proposed model can serve as a platform for generating new research ideas which, besides their theoretical relevance, may have important applied implications.