This study examined the relationship between the patterns of control, coping and mood in a Greek sample of the rheumatoid arthritis patients. We measured perceptions of control and coping regarding two different aspects of the disease, the course of illness and its daily symptoms. We hypothesized that a flexible pattern of perceiving control and of coping (i.e., accurate appraisal of the controllability of the different aspects of the stressor and employment of active coping with the changeable aspects of the stressor and emotion-focused coping with the unchangeable aspects of the stressor) would be negatively related to negative mood and positively related to positive mood. We found that control over the symptoms (compensatory) was related to positive mood and negatively related to negative mood and that seeking social support and venting of the emotions were related to negative mood. In addition, the participants characterized by 1) high emotion-focused engagement coping with both the course of illness and its symptoms, low active coping, low perceptions of primary control and a trend indicating high compensatory control, or 2) patterns of high perceptions of primary control, active coping and emotion-focused engagement coping experienced higher positive mood and lower negative mood than participants that were characterized by high active coping and involuntary emotion-focused engagement coping.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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