Coping is the process of reducing or removing the perceived imbalance between demands and the ability to deal with them.
Sadien, (2010) further defined coping as the conscious use of cognitive or behavioural strategies to reduce perceived stress. It appears that individuals do have consistent coping preferences or dispositions that are employed across a wide range of situations. Sadien, (2010) found that coping may be influenced not only by the nature of the stressful episode but also by the resources, both intra-individual and environmental, available to the person concerned. Coping strategies can be classified as being either problem-focused or emotion-focused.
Problem-focused strategies are directed towards managing the stressful situation, whereas emotion-focused strategies focus on dealing with the associated level of emotional distress, for instance, by relying on avoidant or escapist strategies. Noe, (1986) refers to the importance of social support in the workplace, for instance the extent to which managers, supervisors and co-workers encourage and support the acquisition and use of new job-related knowledge and skills. Seeking social support thus constitutes an important coping strategy.