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To The Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences University of San Carlos Cebu City, Philippines ___________________ In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PSYCHOLOGY ------------------
By Anna Merla C. Leorag Ethel P. Espinoza Madeline C. Discipulo
August 29, 2013
2 CHAPTER 1 Introduction It is no longer surprising to see groups of people in landfill areas. It is a way of life for people who lack the education in order to survive. This is just one of the many consequences of job scarcity and poverty in the Philippines. Nearly half of the Filipinos live less than two dollars a day, varying numbers of poor individuals survive by salvaging materials and anything of value from the waste land environment due to economic and social upheaval (Power, 2006). It is a grim reality of life. Scavenging has been, for a long time, an informal way of generating income for those of disadvantaged backgrounds (Downs & Medina, 2000). They constitute an informal economy of men and women and children who utilize discarded resources coming from the garbage they scavenge in the landfill. These groups of people turn to scavenging in order to sustain life; to make ends meet. It seems to be the only viable alternative job for those whose resources, education and skills are limited as a quick and easy means to support their basic needs. Researches made by Genemo (2010) emphasizes that scavenging on such a waste dumping site is full of risk. Their work is traditionally viewed as degrading and desecrated and the society has always kept them at a distance. Scavengers belong to a low social status in the society and sometimes treated as inferior. Scavengers risk their health as they sift through mounds of dirty and unsanitary items. With this challenging line of work, one can only wonder whether this group of people develop certain mechanisms to deal with their day to day lives. To a person who belongs to the other side of the fence, the plight of these scavengers may seem hopeless,
. Topf. elderly people (Magnani. 1985. Christian. the researchers are interested to know if these two factors predict how scavengers cope with real-life situations. Thus. and athletes (Maddi & Hess. high school and college students (Maddi & Khoshaba. 1999). 1988. chronic illness sufferers (Okun. which led the researchers to focus more on optimism and hardiness. Pollock. 2000). However. 1989). Rich & Rich.focused coping strategy is aimed at .3 disappointing and disassociating. Coping refers to the cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage situations appraised as taxing or exceeding personal resources (Soderstrom et al. The researchers look to the different facet of positivity capturing the idea of „„positive thinking‟‟ (Peterson. 1996). Ducette. problem. & Sands. health care professionals (Keane. 1990). there are a few studies that explore the psychological status of these scavengers and how their situations mold their personality and their way of thinking. 1992) as cited in Maddi (1999).focused coping and emotionfocused coping. such as military personnel on peace-keeping or combat missions (Bartone. A number of optimism and hardiness studies have been conducted to many different categories of people. 1994. 1987.focused coping. & Robinson. The researchers are interested to explore optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping with real-life situations of landfill scavengers and whether this has brought a significant change to their way of living. & Adler. 1990). Researchers have often grouped coping methods into two general types. 2000). it is aimed at reducing or managing feelings of distress associated with the stressor while emotion. Perhaps looking through these individuals‟ lens would help us understand their current condition. & Haier. Literature Review Coping. Wadhwa. In problem. Zantra. Maddi.
A study conducted by Maddi (1999) found that people low in hardiness seeks a sort of pampering from family members that undermines their motivation for effective coping. Dirkzwager. 2000). There is also a considerable literature that indicates that some coping strategies are more maladaptive than others... those high in hardiness are more likely to seek the assistance and encouragement (rather than pampering) from others that would facilitate effective coping. disengagement methods of coping are associated with poorer adjustment in response to a wide range of stressful events (Compas et al. . The researchers will try to explore if the two constructs: optimism and hardiness predicts coping with real-life situation among landfill scavengers. Bramsen. For example. Iwanaga. Researchers look at optimism as one of the predictors of coping. 2001. On the other hand. Yokoyama. With coping undermined. Gentry and Kobasa (1984) explained that low-hardy individuals tend to engage in avoidance coping styles such as cognitive and behavioural disengagement and denial to deal with a stressful situation (as cited in Soderstrom et al. 2004) as cited by Ahadi and Moosavi (2011). In contrast. & Seiwa. The study focuses more on the transformational side of coping where scavengers manage to overcome their everyday situations and transform it to something more opportune and productive for them. As found by Neal (2010). & van der Ploeg. 2003. 2009). understanding and taking decisive action to solve the problem.4 reducing or managing the negative emotional responses associated with stress (Benson. the skill of coping enables a person to transform a circumstance that is stressful into an opportunity through mentally achieving perspective. This may help researchers to explain landfill scavengers‟ being able to manage the type of livelihood that they are currently engaging in. It has been proposed that high-hardy individuals engage in approach coping styles for the purpose of transforming stressful events into situations that seem to be more manageable. a pampered person might actually be more vulnerable to the debilitating effects of stressful events.
2013). they are optimistic. scavengers do not appear to be people who openly express their optimism instead. Peterson (2000) stated that optimism can be encouraged among people.5 Optimism. This allows them to have a positive outlook in their life and to look at their future brightly. they have good relationships. In addition. (1992) posited optimism as an aspect of human being related to other areas of the human makeup (as cited by Mishra. that is. One can ask whether these scavengers can be generically optimistic. It has been argued that optimism enables the individual to set goals. Taylor and Brown (1988) discovered that depressed people are less optimistic than people who are not depressed and could also positively be associated with extraversion and positive affect (as cited by Mishra. 2010). In contrast. they are seen continuously doing this way of living . Marshall et al. 1985). The concept of optimism reflects an individual‟s expectation of a positive outcome in most situations (Scheier & Carver. With this. Peterson and Bossio (1991) defined optimism as a cognitive style associated with having a bias in perceptions in favor of positive features in life and having favorable outcome expectancies and can be viewed as a state or trait (as cited in Gorofalo et al. 1998). cope with adversity and pain and recover from trauma and stress (Bissonnette. make commitments. 2013). and many of them play sports and read and that majority of them are happy with their lives. For instance. Some people readily describe themselves as optimistic yet fail to endorse expectations consistent with this view of them. the researchers are interested to discover the role of optimism in dealing with everyday life in the landfill considering how they are constantly exposed to such conditions. There seems to be an automatic notion that people whose plight seems hopeless do not experience positive emotions. Tomasulo (2013) revealed that not only are these people not depressed. And the concept of optimism gave the idea to the researchers that scavengers might possess optimism to cope with their day to day situations. hopeful without specific expectations at all.
Chang and Sanna (2003) added a significant interaction between optimism.6 despite its taxing nature. family. social and health problems among others. especially those who felt that the stressful situation was potentially controllable (as cited in Mishra. Scavengers in the landfill are prone to experience a variety of stressful situations that arise from living in challenging conditions which may include financial and educational frustrations. 2007). engage in a larger number of positive health practices. What this explains is that optimism may also be potentially counterproductive. agreeable. The kind of life that these individuals are immersed in makes it seem impossible for outsiders to picture that they . Scavengers might appear to be optimistic but fail to channel this positive emotion into action. 2007). they may use such strategy only to blindly convince oneself that all is okay to avoid any real effort to try to make it so. Milligan (2003) found out that optimists in general were predicted to use more direct coping processes when confronted with stressful situations. they tend to be more likely to use active (problem-focused) coping strategies. and be more extraverted. As proposed by Scheier and Carver (1987) causal link between optimism and well-being may be due to the use of more effective coping strategies by optimists when dealing with life difficulties. (2000) revealed that optimistic people are more inclined to engage in planning and problem-solving. Instead. The researchers consider optimism as an effective coping mechanism developed by scavengers to adjust and cope with their situations. and psychological and physical functioning (as cited in Benson. stress. Ample empirical research strongly supports the proposition that optimism is positively correlated with physical and psychological well-being. Achat et al. 2013). and emotionally stable. It may be that landfill scavengers are more of a planner and problem-solver to be able to do well with what they do. Chang and Sanna (2003) suggest that optimism may not always lead to effective coping strategies (as cited in Benson. thus enhancing their abilities in dealing with adversity and stressful life events.
He added that optimism about tomorrow is important for a scavenger‟s life and more than twice as many scavengers could see brighter futures for themselves than their less optimistic counterparts. Tomasulo (2013) made a study with landfill scavengers in Nicaragua and he found out that the key to feeling happy is having a positive expectation for the future. A scavenger may contemplate that there is not only money but hope in garbage. Preliminary findings revealed that individuals. he/she would have to overcome the stress it gives in order to make money.7 too experience something positive like happiness. The central domain of this personality structure. the researchers want to investigate hardiness as another predictor of coping with real-life situations of landfill scavengers. to avoid heavy machinery (e. This is worth mentioning since it enables a clearer understanding of the construct. interpret and respond to healthy stressors”. commitment. With this. and control. To a scavenger. Being surrounded by dirty and putrid waste can be overwhelming to the senses. trash may be synonymous with opportunity. Scavengers who have been doing this type of work for quite some time must have developed a way to take no notice of the risks because the income the trash provides is far more important. and to compete with scavengers alike. but remained healthy. backhoes). labeled as hardiness. The term challenge reflects an outlook . was subsequently defined by Pollock (1989) as “the use of ego resources necessary to appraise. The concept of hardiness emerged from three closely related tendencies: challenge. who experienced high levels of stress. And for an individual to wade through rivers of trash. Hardiness.g. Making a living out of garbage and rummaging through heaps of trash in a landfill can be very demanding. had a different personality structure than individuals who experienced high levels of stress and became ill.
and laboratory-induces stress support this claim as showed by two studies on military cadets . thus they have a sense of meaning and purpose in work and relationships. Lastly. The compounding stress and dangers persist for seemingly countless hours and endless days for them but despite unthinkable conditions in the landfill site and their exposure to stress. and fulfilment as well as maintaining or enhancing physical and mental health. wisdom. Individuals high in hardiness tend to put stressful circumstances into perspective and interpret them in a less threatening manner.. Perhaps scavengers recognize events which they can and cannot control when faced with stress and respond to it in attainable means.8 on life that enables an individual to perceive change as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat to one‟s sense of security or survival. real-life stressful experiences. It brings out creativity. The work that scavengers have probably gives them the responsibility and drive to meet a goal. these groups of people may discover that they have the skills necessary to survive in their highly competitive line of work. but it may very well be one of the factors that have allowed them to live each day. hardiness. some of them turn their situation into opportunity and profit. Indeed. Commitment is the belief in the truth and value of the individual of who they are and in what they do. Individuals who have lived their lives in a landfill could have possibly perceived their condition previously as a threat but over time took it as a challenge to endure. hardiness is a very useful trait to combat daily stressors in life. Knowing that such a trait exists. The scavengers may not be aware about the existence of such a trait. These three related tendencies gives emphasis on how hardiness may be developed which functions as resistance with stressful conditions and is believed to affect how one views oneself and interacts with the world around. Research on self-reported stressors. 2000). which may encourage dedication. control reflects a belief that one can influence the course of life events within reasonable limits (as cited in Soderstrom et al.
(2000) indicated that hardy individuals have an internal sense of personal mastery. Those high in hardiness exhibit a sense of commitment to whatever they are involved in. 1998). 1979). and manipulating others. transformational coping strategies. Several studies done by researchers (Evans & Dunn. 1995) find significant results of hardiness associated with greater well-being and that this can be achieved by active-coping responses (as cited in Ben-Zur & Debi. lacking self-confidence. and avoidance coping strategies and individuals who score high on hardiness measures are more likely to engage in problem focused. Hardiness can somehow be likened to a portal where potential destructive or detrimental elements pass through and materialize as something constructive or beneficial. rather than feeling powerless. initiative. Studies have shown that hardiness involves less complacency than optimism and hardiness is more clearly related the use of transformational coping. active and support seeking coping strategies (as cited by Bisonnette. which act to cognitively transform a “potentially negative event” into a “growth producing experience”. And this trait most likely may be evident on how landfill scavengers . and at the same time viewed themselves as more capable of coping with the training (as cited in Kobasa. once adversity is perceived or encountered. Subramanian (2008) revealed that hardy individuals have the ability to cope in a way that is adaptive. and they are challenged by negative experiences rather than being debilitated by them (as cited in Foster & Dion. 2005). distancing. It was reported that less hardy individuals are more likely to engage in emotionally focused. Soderstrom et al. 2004). This showed that the hardy person prefer to rely on active. Researchers want to explore if it applies to landfill scavengers as a coping mechanism in their situation.9 undergoing stressful training and found that cadets that scored high on hardiness appraised the combat training in less threatening terms. confronting problems with confidence in their ability to implement effective solutions. they believe they have control over their lives.
A study conducted by Ahadi and Moosavi (2011) states that hardiness is believed to influence the types of coping strategies used when an event is received as stressful. Relationship of Optimism. Neal (2010) concluded that there is a strong link between hardiness and optimism as both constructs encourage effective coping with stressful circumstances. and it has been reported to increase levels of moral and subjective well being. Hardiness and Coping Subramanian (2008) revealed that optimism plays the same role as hardiness in terms of emotion regulation among adolescents. 2009) as what is similarly found with other related studies . The researchers want to discover if both construct will lead to such results and whether these constructs predict coping among landfill scavengers. Subramanian (2008) stated that hardy and optimistic adolescents use more of adaptive cognitive coping strategies when coping with negative incidents. It is with this link that the researchers will be basing upon to determine if such a relationship does exist and to find out the role they play on how scavengers cope with their daily living in the landfill. hardiness is linked to positive psychology because it is believed to facilitate turning stresses to advantage.10 are able to cope with living and working in a challenging environment. He added that the result is meaningful in the sense that hardy individual lays emphasis on his own resources to deal with the failure or negative incident and develops an optimistic attitude. There is growing research that indicates that hardiness enhances resiliency in response to ongoing demands and pressures of everyday life. hardiness and coping among individuals. In an article posted by Neal (2010). Khoshaba & Maddi (1999) have suggested that hardy people are more likely to show problem or approach based coping behavior when faced with a stressful situation (as cited in Cash. There are studies that illustrate the relationship of optimism.
1995. This means that hardy people are less likely to avoid dealing with their situations. Maddi (2004) has described the positive relationship between transformational coping and hardiness.11 (Evans & Dunn. hardy people tend to use a range of active strategies across situations while optimism encourages problem solving strategies in life threatening situations. 2011). working to sustain their needs. A study by Benson (2009) suggests that optimism leads to effective coping strategies. 2005). More recently. Dunn (1996) found that optimism enhances adaptation following stressful encounters. Cash (2009) suggested that. Scavengers are a common sight in the streets and a constant at dumpsites. In another study. 2013). this personal quality is considered to be a determinant of sustained efforts to deal with problems in contrast with turning away from problems and givingup (as cited in Ben-Zur & Debi. The researchers will try to investigate if optimism together with hardiness predicts coping since “the positive effect of optimism has been attributed to the strategies that optimists use to cope with stress” (as cited in Mishra. Smith (cited in Fry. This result showed consistency with the previous studies made by Maddi . Optimism has been reported to “moderate the deleterious effects of daily hassles on physical health (Fry. Cash (2009) concluded that higher levels of hardiness are associated with more positive situational appraisals and more effective coping responses. She added that “hardiness showed positive relationships with active coping”. 1998). 1995) found that optimism moderated and predicted coping responses to stressful events. Another study made by Fry (1995) found that optimism moderated and predicted coping responses to stressful events. Ahadi and Moosavi (2011) examined hardiness and attributional styles as predictors of coping and found a significant relationship between hardiness and coping. with hardy individuals more likely to diminish (rather than avoid) the threat of a potential stressor by addressing not only the problem but also the emotions that it arouses (as cited in Ahadi &Moosavi. Bisonnette. 1995).
The two construct in the study: optimism and hardiness are identified as general health promoting factors.12 (2004). 2008). Ahadi and Moosavi (2011) and Subramanian (2008). Optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping may be a trend of landfill scavengers or to people of similar life circumstance. Both of these constructs could have paved the path to coping. The traits optimism and hardiness could be factors among many others that have made it less difficult for scavengers to live on. Discovering a pattern to these findings. the researchers decided to study optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping. Although the specific mechanism(s) by which hardiness and optimism . Theoretical/ Conceptual Framework Coping Optimism Hardiness Figure 1. Optimism and Hardiness predictors of Coping The study aims to explore the role of optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping with real life situations among landfill scavengers. Landfill scavengers could possibly possess the traits optimism and hardiness that has made them endure tough times. which enable the individuals to remain both psychologically and physically healthy despite encountering negative life events (Subramanian.
. optimism and hardiness. such that individuals are able to reframe or reinterpret adverse experiences (Florian et al.13 contribute to long term psychological well-being remain speculative (Tartasky. 1989. hardiness (and optimism) alters the individual‟s cognitive appraisal process. 1993. Kobasa (1979) hypothesized the existence of two mediational pathways. Second. This concept sparked the ideas of the researchers to focus on the importance of optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping with real life situations of landfill scavengers. 1992) as cited in Bissonnette (1998). 1993). Williams et al. Williams et al. on scavengers working in the landfill area. Statement of the Problem This research aims to answer the questions: In what way does optimism and hardiness help landfill scavengers cope with their day to day situations? And how does it benefit their life? Purpose of the study The purpose of this quantitative study is to explore the role of optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping when scavengers face their situations in the landfill.. First. There are a few researches exploring the relationship of hardiness and optimism as predictors of coping applying on different demographics but the researchers were unable to find any that investigates the constructs. is to discover how optimism and hardiness encourage scavengers in their daily lives. Pollock. Thus. 1995.. 1982. Second. 1993. 1992). the level of psychological distress experienced is reduced. . Funk. hardy individuals have the ability to cope in a way that is adaptive once stress and/or adversity are perceived (Tartasky. Tartasky. Another is to explore the extent to which hardiness and optimism predicts coping with real-life situations and whether or not it enhances their living.
they continue to stay in such living conditions. in many regions like Cebu. matters.g. . researchers. give insight to the majority from these groups of people that can be beneficial to their lives. but that is the daily reality for hundreds of scavengers in our country. e. It may be hard for many to imagine what it would be like to live in their place. And hopefully. This study hopes to bring awareness to government agencies. The general objective of the study is to explore optimism and hardiness as predictors of coping with real life situations of landfill scavengers. This study will help people understand the role these scavengers play in our society and how they manage to handle their condition. non-government units and all people in various communities that scavengers contribute quite significantly to society.14 Significance of the Study There is a need to explore the circumstances of these people in the landfill area and why despite of their difficult and stressful work. By knowing the perspectives of these individuals. All social class share common basic goals to survive in means which one thinks he or she will most likely thrive especially in this world that is swiftly leaning towards capitalism. and perhaps also economic. it will bring about new ideas and suggestions to issues regarding social. recycling.
it is a 30. They will be taken from Mandaue City Landfill Area. In this study the researchers uses optimism and hardiness as independent variable and coping mechanism as a dependent variable.15 Methods Participants Purposive random sampling will be used as a technique to select the participants. and for hardiness Cognitive Hardiness Scale (CHS) will be used. Exploratory research will be utilized because the study is meant to provide details where small amount of information exist. The researches select landfill scavengers as participants of this study for there are only few studies pertaining to them. a 10. Brief Cope Scale (BCS) will be . Research Design The design of this study is exploratory in nature in a quantitative method. Instrumentation The research will employ the standardized survey questionnaires. It uses variety of method such as surveys. and Coping will both be measured using an ordinal Likert scale. For independent variable optimism.item scale Life Orientation Test (LOT) will be utilized in order to assess individual differences and determine their level of optimism. The researchers are interested to explore the roles of optimism and hardiness in coping real life situations of landfill scavengers and whether this has brought a significant change in their way of living. interviews and group discussion for the purpose of gaining information. Optimism and hardiness.item scale. The participants of this study will consist of 250 diverse (male and female) landfill scavengers ranging from 12 years old and above.
& Moosavi E.proquest.. Brief Cope Scale (BCS). Kawachi. 22(2).doi. A. doi:http://dx. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. A. (2011). This could be done through individual or group interviews. They will undergo guided interviews.com/pqcentral/docview/875675174/abstract?accountid=141440 Ahadi.. D.16 employed in order to assess how participants cope with the stress in life. Optimism and depression as predictors of physical and mental health functioning: The normative aging study..org/10. H. A. & Sparrow. 127-30. Retrieved from http://search. The participants will be given 3 sets of survey questionnaire Life Orientation Test (LOT). H. it is composed of a 28 item. Hardiness and attributional styles as predictors of coping . References Achat. Research Procedure The participant will be informed the purpose of the study and how this study could benefit them.1007/BF02895776.. Cognitive Hardiness Scale (CHS). D. Spiro. The consent will be given before the survey questions will be conducted. They will be told that the information will be kept confidential and that the study is voluntary and that they could withdraw at any time. (2000). The scale will be translated to Cebuano dialect for the participants to digest each statement.. The questionnaire will be read to the participants in a form of interview for there are words that need to be put in a simple context for them to properly understand the questions. I. Demolles.
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