The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between coping behavior and stress response of undergraduates as they experienced over lime prior to an examination. One hundred forty eight undergraduates were asked to complete a set of questionnaires on coping behavior and stress response at a month (T1). a week (T2). and immediately (T3) prior to an important examination. Cluster analysis showed that there were four clusters of coping behavior at each period of time. Regardless of their effort level, students with high distress showed higher stress score than those with low distress. In hierarchical regression analysis of stress response change, an interaction effect of effort change and distress change over T1 to T2 was significant. Stress responses lessened for students whose effort score increased but distress score decreased. The opposite was true for those whose effort score decreased but distress score increased. From T2 to T3, a main effect of distress was significant: For students whose stress response increased, distress score also increased.
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