Ways of Coping with Everyday Problems and Minor Events
Adolescence is a developmental period in which the individual is confronted not only with a dramatic change in body contours, but at the same time, a series of complex and interrelated developmental tasks that have to be mastered, such as achieving independence from parents, establishing romantic relationships, and developing an occupational identity ( Havighurst, 1953). Of special relevance is the way adolescents cope with these normative demands, which are manifested in numerous minor events. It should be acknowledged, however, that the theoretical conceptualization of stress and coping in adolescence has changed. Concerning stress, the earlier crisis model gave way to more appropriate concepts that considered the productive way of coping with stressors in various domains. Conceptualizations of adolescent coping were strongly tied to the research on adults, and the idea of adolescent-specific stressors, which were so important for the theory of stress, was not pursued. Instruments frequently were based on those developed for adults and, as a rule, they only assessed global stressors and did not consider the unique demands of this age group.
In this chapter, I present the results of the survey study (Study 3). The development of appropriate measurement techniques for assessing stress and coping in adolescent populations has high priority in this study. A major issue then is to examine different minor stressors and the ways in which adolescents cope with them. Another important question concerns individual differences among adolescents. Do youngsters in early and mid-adolescence use different strategies in coping with the same problems? And, compared to research on adults, what can be said about gender differences in coping with minor events?
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Publication information: Book title: Stress, Coping, and Relationships in Adolescence. Contributors: Inge Seiffge-Krenke - Author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 94.
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