In commenting in considerable detail on the four main articles in the special section on stress and coping, the author comes to two main conclusions: First, there is an increasing amount of high quality research on stress and coping that suggests the field is finally maturing, and this research may help reduce the long-standing gap between research and clinical practice. Second, this research is increasingly using badly needed research designs that have not hitherto been sufficiently emphasized, such as longitudinal or prospective designs, focused on observations that are day-to-day, microanalytic, and in-depth, and that are compatible with a holistic outlook. The author also addresses the role of positive emotion in coping, the concept of defense as it is dealt with nowadays, and the task of evaluating coping efficacy.
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