A longitudinal study with three periods of data collection has been designed to test a model concerning the antecedents and consequences of coping in the anticipatory stage of an examination stress process. The model tested focuses on the role of positive and negative affect at an early stage as the main antecedents for coping. Primary and secondary appraisal, and dispositional variables (perceived personal competence and optimism) have been related to early affect. Moreover, the consequences of coping, considered as the affect measured after the deployment of coping strategies, and the grade obtained in the exam, are also tested. Results show that early affect is the main antecedent of displayed coping strategies. Dispositional variables and appraisal are related to affect, and differential effects of coping in later affect have been noticed. No relationship between coping and grade has been found. Implications for research on coping with examination stress are discussed.
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