Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

The Role of Family and School Environment in Developing Coping Skills among Adolescents

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

The Role of Family and School Environment in Developing Coping Skills among Adolescents

Article excerpt

A coping skill is a behavioural tool which is used by individuals to offset or overcome adversity, disadvantage or disability without correcting or eliminating the underline conditions (wikipedia.org/ coping skill). Coping skills are those skills that we use to offset disadvantage in day to day life. Coping skill can be seen as a sort of adaptation (Fritsher, 2008). It may help a person to face a situation, take an action and to be flexible and persistent in solving problems. The method a person uses to deal with a stressful situation is known as coping skills. These are some techniques and methods which are meant to cope with stress. These methods are known as coping skill or coping techniques. The ultimate goal of these skills is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, fun and the resilience to hold up under pressure to meet challenges. There are many healthy ways to cope with stress. We can either change the situation or change our reaction. Coping refers to a process of constantly changing cognitive and behavioural effects to manage specific external or internal demands. Virtually, all living beings routinely utilize coping skills in daily life. These are perhaps most noticeable in response to physical disabilities. Professional counsellors have found that a focus of attention on coping skills is often helpful to these individuals.

Coping skills can be positive or negative. Positive coping skills help us get through situations at nearly the same level as those who do not have the disadvantages. Negative coping skills, however may provide short-term relief or distraction, but ultimately worsen our disadvantages (Fritscher, 2008). A common example of a negative coping skill is the abuse of alcohol or drugs. Davidson (2007) reviewed the potential use and application of coping-skills training in teaching adolescents in effective ways of managing the stressors related to living with diabetes mellitus. Adolescents aged 13 to 20 with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus who participated in the research project. Research revealed that the use of appropriate coping skills may help them to cope with day to day management of the illness and aid in long term adaptation. In another study, Kumar and Kandhiravan (2009) studied the relationship between stress coping skills and their goal orientation in a sample of 400 college students. The findings of the study revealed that the students differ in their coping skills with regard to their gender, subject of specialization and parents' level of education.

The key to optimal childhood development lies in the influences of the immediate environment. The family system, as part of the environment, plays a central role in the child's developmental outcome (Samerolf, 1990). As children approach and enter adolescence, school and community influences begin to compete with the home environment as key factors in their lives. The role of the family and the specific interactions between a child and parent have been determined to be powerful indicators of development (Baharudin, 1998; Genis & Dekovic 1997; Harris & Liebert 1987; Hines 1997; Bennett & Hay, 2007). Certain family types may encounter stressors associated with their family situation, such as compromised quality of parentchild relationships, parental depression and socio-economic adversity. These commonly occurring characteristics of different family environments may chiefly account for the risks to children's wellbeing (Lansford, Ceballo, Abbey & Stewart 2001 ; Dunn, Deater-Decard & Klebanov, 1998; Smith, Brooks-Gunn & O'Connor 1997; Demo & Acock 1996; Forgatch, Patterson & Ray 1995; Amato 1994; Hetherington 1993; Hetherington & Clingempeel 1992; Amato & Keith 1991). During this transition to adolescence, many of the conditions that affect this transition come into play in the earlier school years. The classroom is one such environment children must learn to navigate. …

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