Coping with person-environment incongruence



Publication Details

Hampton, G. (1991). Coping with person-environment incongruence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21 (15), 1277-1292.


Students' psychosocial functioning during their transition to university was examined in terms of person-environment incongruence and the flexibility of individuals' construction processes in coping with this incongruence. Using content analysis scaling methodology it was found that the experience of person-environment incongruence was mediated by size of university environment and students' stage of life and education. Mature age students experienced more person-environment incongruence, and less interpretive and core anxiety and satisfaction in a larger university environment. Students who were recent school leavers experienced more person-environment incongruence, interpretive anxiety, and less satisfaction in a smaller environment. In the smaller environment, students who had participated in an intervention maintained higher levels of inflexibility and expressed less social hostility than nonintervention students. These effects of the intervention did not hold in the larger environment where both intervention and nonintervention students experienced a significant decrease in inflexibility over time.

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