Use of spiritual -focused coping for managing stress among Black women
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This study explored the use of spiritual-focused coping as a way of managing stress among working class Black women. It was hypothesized that Black women would use spiritual-focused coping as a first response to stress and that they would find it to be the most helpful in coping with stress. It was also hypothesized that there were additional factors, such as age, place of origin, household composition and number of children in the household that influenced the use of spiritual-focused coping among this population. A total of 119 respondents, from four different sites in New Jersey, a foster care agency's parent training group, a school district secretarial union meeting, and two predominantly Black churches completed a four part questionnaire that included a demographic portion, the African American Women's Stress Scale (AWSS), the Ways of Coping Scale (WOC), and an open ended question.;Results indicated that working class Black women used three patterns of coping, spiritual-focused, cognitive-focused, and emotion-focused, and go back and forth at times---to help manage stress. In addition, these women tended to chose both cognitive-focused and spiritual-focused coping equally as a first response to stress. Spiritual-focused coping was also found by these women to be the most helpful pattern of coping that they used to manage stress. The study found that other factors such as age and place of origin were related to the use of spiritual-focused coping while the household composition and number of children were not related. Results of this study highlight the importance of spiritual-focused coping as a form of coping that is used by working class Black women to help them to manage stress. The study represents the first time that spiritual-focused coping has been identified as one of the alternatives that many of these women use during stressful situations.