Adolescent Coping: Advances in Theory, Research, and Practice

Adolescent Coping: Advances in Theory, Research, and Practice

Adolescent Coping: Advances in Theory, Research, and Practice

Adolescent Coping: Advances in Theory, Research, and Practice


Young people need to cope in a variety of settings, including school, home, peer groups and the workplace, and with a range of life problems such as examinations and parental divorce. This thoroughly revised and updated new edition of Adolescent Coping presents the latest research and applications in the field of coping. It highlights the ways in which coping can be measured and, in particular, details a widely used adolescent coping instrument.

Topics include the different ways in which girls and boys cope, coping in the family, how culture and context determine how young people cope, decisional coping, problem solving and social coping, with a particular emphasis on practice. Each topic is considered in light of past and recent research findings and each chapter includes quotations from young people. While topics such as depression, eating disorders, self-harm and grief and loss are addressed, there is a substantial focus on the positive aspects of coping, including an emphasis on resilience and the achievement of happiness. In addition to the wide-ranging research findings that are reported, many of the chapters consider implications and applications of the relevant findings with suggestions for the development of coping skills and coping skills training.

Adolescent Coping will be of interest to students of psychology, social work, sociology, education and youth and community work as well as to an audience of parents, educators and adolescents.


Coping is the way we can describe the best features of human adaptation – and the worst. Adolescence is an important transition point which enables us to reflect on what has been learned and what is yet to be learned about developing the skills to cope. It is a significant and extensive stage of development within which there are opportunities for us to understand and foster young people’s coping skills. Some modes of adaptation are linked to one’s temperament or personality disposition; others are learned throughout the course of one’s life.

Today information about almost everything is readily available. When it comes to coping, one of the most highly published areas in psychology, there is a mine of information. I recently performed a Google search on adolescent coping and got 55 frames. All results were teaching about coping, such as how to cope with a disaster, a transition, a death, the loss of a pet, examinations, talking in front of a crowd or performing music. All full of good sense, some of it common sense and some of it just good reminders. So why develop programmes, why do research for 15 years on the topic and keep doing it? There is still a great deal for us to learn about young people and their worlds. and when it comes to measurement and interventions we want to rely on sound, empirical data on what works and what does not.

In the international no. 1 best seller The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference, Malcolm Gladwell explains the ‘tipping point’, that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviours cross the threshold, tip, and spread like wildfire. Taking a look behind the surface of many familiar occurrences in our everyday world, he explains the fascinating social dynamics that cause rapid change. He espouses principles such as the contagion effect: we can have the contagion of depression and despair or the contagion of optimism, resilience, well-being or happiness – and why not coping?

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