Future-Oriented Coping and Job Hunting among College Students

By Hu, Yueqin; Gan, Yiqun | The Psychological Record, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

Future-Oriented Coping and Job Hunting among College Students


Hu, Yueqin, Gan, Yiqun, The Psychological Record


In a person's career, the transition from school to work is a critical stage (Super & Hall, 1978). Individuals in this stage may encounter many difficulties, for example, seeking a job. Ten years ago, this was not a problem for Chinese university graduates, because only a few high school students had the opportunity to receive a college education, and they were assigned a job after graduation. This situation changed in 1999 when the government implemented a policy to expand enrollment in Chinese institutions of higher learning. Since 2003, the sharp increase in the number of college graduates has placed a strain on the employment market, and the issue of unemployment has gradually become problematic (Feng, 2003). As a result, seeking a job has become a major stressor for college students, and most students begin to prepare for their careers at the very beginning of college-Compared with "occasional stressors" such as accidents, job layoffs, and so on (Schwarzer & Taubert, 2002), seeking a job after graduation is inevitable and foreseeable for most graduates. Therefore, the related coping process involves more initiative and proactive components. In this case, the concept of "future-oriented coping" is introduced to the research area of job hunting.

Coping is defined as thoughts and behaviors that people use to manage the internal and external demands of situations that are appraised as stressful (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Although anticipating harm or loss is central to this widely accepted definition (Folkman & Moskowitz, 2004), traditional coping models tend to overemphasize the reactive nature of coping (Schwarzer & Taubert, 2002) and focus attention on how people cope with past or ongoing stressors. In contrast, future-oriented coping focuses on stressors that one may encounter in the future. Currently, there are several terms used to refer to future-oriented coping, such as proactive coping and preventive coping. The definitions of these concepts and their differences will be introduced later. Searching online with these terms as key words suggests that future-oriented coping has not been introduced to the field of career development. However, some semantically similar terms, such as planfulness, forecasting, and anticipation of the future, are mentioned frequently. For example, Stevens (1973) found that high school students who "look ahead" develop greater job-seeking readiness; Levinson (1978) mentioned that coping with transitions need to be foreseen; Super (1983) emphasized the critical importance of "future perspective" toward planning and exploration when measuring career maturity; and Heppner, Neal, and Larson (1984) found that preventive training in problem solving is beneficial to college students. Recently, Brown, Cober, and Kane (2007) examined the impact of proactive personality in the process of graduates' job hunting and demonstrated a significant correlation between proactive personality and job search success (r = .22). Considering these links between foresight and career development, we predicted that future-oriented coping would have a positive effect on graduate job hunting.

Proactive Coping and Preventive Coping

Aspinwall and Taylor (1997) first proposed the concept of proactive coping, which raised the issue of coping with future stress. They defined proactive coping as individuals' efforts to prepare for difficult changes and events that threaten personal goals or general well-being. They also proposed the five-stage model of proactive coping, in which resource accumulation, attention recognition, initial appraisal, preliminary coping, and eliciting and using feedback were regarded as the five stages.

Schwarzer and Taubert (2002) identified four kinds of coping: reactive coping, anticipatory coping, proactive coping, and preventive coping, each differentiated by the time at which the target stress occurs. Reactive coping emphasizes past events; anticipatory coping deals with impending stresses, for example, a presentation in 10 minutes; proactive coping aims at upcoming challenges; and preventive coping focuses on uncertain stresses in the distant future (Schwarzer & Knoll, 2003). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Future-Oriented Coping and Job Hunting among College Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.