Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

The Relationship between Interpersonal Problem Solving, Positive - Negative Affect and Anxiety

Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

The Relationship between Interpersonal Problem Solving, Positive - Negative Affect and Anxiety

Article excerpt

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships of interpersonal problem solving, positive-negative affect and anxiety. To this end, 336 high school students completed Interpersonal Problem Solving Inventory (Çam & Tümkaya, 2008), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Gençöz, 2000), and Trait Anxiety Inventory (Öner, 1977). The statistical analysis of the study included Pearson Moments Correlation Coefficient and Multiple Regression Analysis. The results indicated that intercorrelations among negative orientation to the problem, negative affect, anxiety, and intercorrelations among constructive problem solving, insistent-persevering orientation and positive affect were all significant. Results of Multiple Regression Analysis indicated that within negative affect and anxiety, negative orientation to the problem was the most powerful predictor. In light of these findings, suggestions for planned interventions to improve interpersonal problem-solving skills of students in individual and group guidance activities are emphasized and ideas for future research are discussed.

Ke y wo r d s : in terp er son al p ro bl em so lv in g, po si ti ve and negative affect, a nxiety


There are personal differences with respect to the reactions developed against solving interpersonal problems, which stand out as natural integrants of daily life. Social problem-solving model developed by D'Zurilla and Goldfried (1971) with the aim of solving interpersonal problems, consists of problemsolving orientation and problem-solving skill. In this model problem orientation encompasses positive problem orientation and negative problem orientation. In the process of solving an interpersonal problem, the views and perceptions of adolescents towards a particular problem are influential in their problem orientation (Arslan, 2010). Having a positive problem orientation assists an individual in further developing it and employing a functional problem solving skill. The Positive Problem Orientation Scale taps a constructive, cognitive problem-solving ability of an individual that involves a general disposition to appraise a problem as a beneficial opportunity, a belief that problems are solvable, a trust in one's personal ability to solve problems effectively and a belief that successful problem solving requires time, effort and persistence (D'Zurilla, Chang, & Sanna, 2003). A negative orientation to the problem, on the other hand, is termed as Negative Problem Orientation. Negative Problem Orientation is the orientation to- wards a dysfunctional problem. Negative Problem Orientation involves the general tendency to view a problem as a significant threat to one's well-being (psychological, social, economical), to doubt one's own ability to solve problems successfully (low problem solving self-sufficiency) and to easily become upset and frustrated when confronted with problems (low tolerance towards frustration) (D'Zurilla, Nezu, & MaydeuOliveras, 2004).

The social problem-solving model recognizes the following three problem-solving skill styles: rational, impulsivity-carelessness and avoidance. Rational problem solving is a constructive problem-solving skill (Eskin, 2009). Impulsivity-carelessness style is a dysfunctional problem-solving pattern. This pattern is characterized by problem-solving attempts that are narrow, impulsive, hurried and incomplete. The individual possesses very few alternative solutions and most of the times s/he acts impulsively in line with the very first idea occurring. In addition, the person faces challenges in constructing alternative solutions and hardships in construing the potential results of each alternative solution. Avoidance style is another type of dysfunctional problem solving skill. Instead of coping with the problem the individual chooses to avoid it. S/he procrastinates, and waits until it is solved by itself (D'Zurilla et al., 2004).

It is only natural that different people develop different orientation and problemsolving skills in the face of problems they encounter. …

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