Strategies for Coping with Sexually Transmitted Diseases by Adolescent Females

By Rosenthal, Susan L.; Biro, Frank M. et al. | Adolescence, Fall 1995 | Go to article overview

Strategies for Coping with Sexually Transmitted Diseases by Adolescent Females


Rosenthal, Susan L., Biro, Frank M., Cohen, Sheila S., Succop, Paul A., Stanberry, Lawrence R., Adolescence


Essentially all sexually active teens are at risk for acquisition of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) due to biological vulnerability and a variety of risk-taking behaviors (Cates, 1991). The acquisition of an STD has potentially serious impacts on the individual both biologically and psychologically (Rosenthal, Cohen, & Biro, 1994). The purpose of this study was to investigate adolescent girls' style of coping in response to the acquisition of an STD. Coping is a transactional event involving the assessment of a stressor, attempts to deal with it, and then behavioral changes that result from the efforts. The nature of the stressor may determine the type of coping used. Research has indicated that both adults and adolescents use more emotion-focused coping with health-related problems (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980; Spirito, Stark, & Williams, 1988). For example, adapting to a disease such as genital herpes requires avoidance of thinking about uncontrollable aspects and taking some responsibility for those which can be controlled (McLarnon & Kaloupek, 1988). In efforts to assess appraisal variables, researchers have incorporated perception of the degree of stress and perceived amount of control (Folkman & Lazarus, 1988; Rosenthal, Schmid, & Black, 1989). A person's coping style may also be affected by moderator variables such as age or gender (Folkman & Lazarus, 19881; Spirito, Stark, Grace, & Stamoulis, 1990).

Little is known about adolescents' style of coping in response to the acquisition of an STD and their subsequent adjustment to the diagnosis. Since coping patterns can have significant implications for future risk behaviors, developmental outcome may be mediated by the success of the coping strategies (Peterson & Hamburg, 1986). For example, if one copes with the diagnosis of an STD by simply wishing it would go away, one may not develop ways to avoid subsequent acquisition. Adolescents with cervical dysplasia report changes in sexual behaviors such as "quitting having sex" or using condoms consistently, but STD rates suggest that they may not actually implement these changes (Biro, Rosenthal, Wildey, & Hillard, 1991). This conclusion is supported by another study indicating that a previous STD did not reduce the likelihood of subsequent STD (Fullilove, Fullilove, Bowser, & Gross, 1990). The degree of impact of an STD diagnosis appears to be related to other psychological symptomatology rather than to the particular STD (Rosenthal & Biro, 1991).

The research on coping with a sexually transmitted disease has focused on adults' coping with the diagnosis of genital herpes in order to determine the degree of psychological distress and the relationship between stress and patterns of coping with recurrences. Psychological distress clearly varies among individuals, and the results of previous research regarding patterns of stress and coping with recurrences have been inconclusive (see VanderPlate & Aral (1987) for a review of the literature). It does appear that it is important to differentiate herpes-specific aspects from general aspects of coping. For example, one study found that the negative aspects of herpes appeared limited to the sexual realm (Shaw & Rosenfeld, 1987); another study found that herpes-specific social support affected the stress-recurrence relationship but general social support did not (Vanderplate, Aral, & Magder, 1988). The relevance of issues specific to herpes demonstrates the need to study coping as it specifically relates to STD.

The current study assessed coping strategies of adolescent girls in response to the acquisition of an STD. The literature on coping with developmental challenges indicates the importance of the context of development and past experiences (Luthar & Zigler, 1991). Thus, coping was examined in the context of past experience with an STD (that is, whether the adolescent was responding to the first or a subsequent episode). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Strategies for Coping with Sexually Transmitted Diseases by Adolescent Females
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.