oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - A hermeneutic phenomenological approach to understanding stress-coping as an existential phenomenon lived by healthy adolescents
Based mainly on research conducted as part of a doctoral thesis (Guimond-Plourde, 2004), this paper introduces an epistemological and methodological framework based on the foundations and characteristics of a qualitative / interpretative approach rooted in hermeneutic phenomenology as conducive to disclosing the meaning that healthy adolescents, aged 15 to 17, attribute to the stress they experience in school and to their coping behaviour. Moving from the empirical to the phenomenal makes it possible to evoke a return to dimensions of meaning which have been set aside or forgotten in the lived experience of stress-coping. By thus bringing stress-coping into focus in a new way, it enables us to glimpse the phenomenon anew, with the prospect of revealing what we haven't yet appreciated. A dual philosophical approach is outlined: a phenomenological perspective apprehends stress-coping as an existential phenomenon, while the hermeneutic focus is on interpreting the links between lived experience and meaning. The kind of knowledge generated by means of this approach offers a new way of understanding that focuses on the unique and personal nature of healthy adolescents' daily life at school and, as such, provides educators with a sensitive account of adolescents' experiences of stress in the school context.
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