This study investigated the relations among appraisals, emotions and coping strategies when adolescents were confronted with a stressful event: the High School Diploma examination. Italian students (N = 610) completed a questionnaire three weeks before the beginning of the exam. Data were reduced by means of principal component analyses and then multiple regression analyses were conducted to assess the relations among appraisals, emotions and coping strategies. The results suggest that students who perceived their coping potential as high, and had an internal locus of control, felt more intense positive emotions such as happiness and challenge, and adopted coping strategies such as focusing on positive aspects of the experience and seeking social support. In contrast, students who perceived their coping potential as low, and had an external locus of control, experienced more intense emotions of helplessness and frustration and adopted avoidance and isolation strategies.
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