Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Social Self-Regulation in the Context of Applied Parental Styles and Preferred Styles of Coping in Early and Middle Adolescence - Pilot Study

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Social Self-Regulation in the Context of Applied Parental Styles and Preferred Styles of Coping in Early and Middle Adolescence - Pilot Study

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The presented pilot study was realised as a part of an extensive research plan, which aims to map the developmental trend in developing self-regulation of an individual in the context of coping, selfefficacy and self-esteem, by monitoring selected connections between social self-regulation, applied parental educational styles and preferred strategies of coping in the period of early and middle adolescence.

It is typical of the period of adolescence that the adolescent gradually gains more and more possibilities to actively influence his or her own development and slowly starts to learn how to handle them. Along with the extensive changes in the field of physical, psychical and social context of one's own development, to which he or she needs to adapt, it can be classified as exceptionally burdensome, which imposes high demands on the effective use of coping strategies and selfregulation mechanisms. A number of authors highlight the strong interconnectedness between coping and self-regulation in this context, coping being mostly described as the effort of an individual to mobilise, regulate and manage one's emotions and behaviour in a stressful situation (Compas et al., 2001). Nevertheless, the question of deliberate self-regulation as the basic aspect of human functioning, which involves specific modulation of one's own thoughts, concentration, emotions and behaviour, such as particularly reactions to the demands of one's environment (Gestsdóttir, et al. 2009) and coping, has not yet been sufficiently clarified mainly due to a considerable overlap of automatic and deliberate processes. In general, coping strategies are perceived as a behavioural component of self-regulation (Baltes et al., 1998).

The theoretical basis of this study is grounded in the presumption that the ways of regulating behaviour of an individual develop throughout the whole life of the individual. The theory of selection, optimisation and compensation (SOC) (Baltes, 1997), which is essential for the presented study, describes three basic self-regulation mechanisms: 1. selection: the choice of goals, which is voluntary (elective selection) or it is caused by the lack of sources (loss-based selection); 2. optimisation: enhancing resources and reserves of an individual; 3. compensation: achieving one's goal in an alternative way. These components of the SOC model represent significant selfregulation mechanisms, which keep changing during one's life. Adolescence is a developmental period in which self-regulation gradually starts to internally differentiate (Gestsdottir & Lerner, 2008) and the model of selection, optimisation and compensation by Baltes and his colleagues (Baltes, 1997; Freund & Baltes, 2002) seem to be a suitable tool for researching this process (Lerner, 2008). In the period of early adolescence, strategies of self-regulation are still unstructured, whereas in adulthood they are three separate processes, which become more and more distinct during the development in adolescence and early adulthood (Gestsdóttir et al., 2009, 2010). In the context of social relationships, the above mentioned selection is related to getting new friends (elective selection), replacing old friendships (loss-based selection), improving the quality of social relationships (optimisation) and maintaining relationships (compensation) (Geldholf et al., 2012). One of the most significant factors with a great impact on the success of this process in terms of social development of an individual during adolescence are the broader conditions of one's family environment, where the process of empowerment and gradual disengagement from emotional and cognitive dependence on one's family. This process is also closely related to the development of self-regulation and its healthy and successful progress can be significantly supported by the parental educational style (Bowers et al., 2011).

Therefore, the study is based on the presumption that a positive relationship with parents provides a certain form of social support and thus enhances psychological resources of adolescents necessary for coping in difficult and stressful situations (Wolfradt et al. …

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