Coping and adjustment to genital herpes

Sharon Manne, Irwin Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The current study examined how individuals deal with genital herpes, a recurrent, incurable disease with a great psychological impact. An assessment battery composed of cognitive and problem-focused coping, attribution, and social support mechanisms was employed. These coping mechanisms were correlated with measures of psychological adjustment: self-esteem, depression, sexual adjustment, and amount upset by herpes. Subjects were 152 people with herpes recruited from self-help groups and people from the community who volunteered to participate in the study. Results supported several hypotheses derived from previous research on coping with life stressors. Cognitive coping mechanisms, especially negative thoughts, along with wishful thinking and characterological self-blame, were significant predictors of poor psychological adjustment. Social support was correlated with better psychological adjustment. In addition, the repeated use of disease management strategies was found to correlate with poor psychological adjustment. Further research in the area of coping with chronic illness is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-410
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984


  • adjustment
  • chronic illness
  • coping
  • herpes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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