Mediators of Adolescents' Stress in a College Preparatory Environment

By Ainslie, Ricardo C.; Shafer, Alexandra et al. | Adolescence, Winter 1996 | Go to article overview

Mediators of Adolescents' Stress in a College Preparatory Environment


Ainslie, Ricardo C., Shafer, Alexandra, Reynolds, John, Adolescence


Adolescence has often been called a time of "storm and stress," and many factors contribute to this view, including developmental and environmental pressures. Compas, Phares, & Ledoux (1989) identify five sources of individual differences in vulnerability to stress among children and adolescents: (a) developmental factors; (b) gender-related factors; (c) the proximal nature of daily as opposed to major stressful events; (d) stress and symptoms in the lives of significant others; and (e) individual differences in self-perceptions of competence and the importance of different domains of functioning. School is a significant arena for the experience of stress in adolescence, and although still relatively underresearched, the past decade has seen an increase in interest in school-related stress by both scholars and clinicians (D'Aurora & Fimian, 1988). With the growing recognition of the role of stress in both physical and mental illness, such research takes on new urgency.

Historically, most stress research with adolescents has focused on assessing the effects of major life events, such as death of a close family member or parents' divorce. More recently, due to the recognition that a majority of psychiatric problems in children and youth are attributable to smaller scale everyday problems rather than major crises (Paykel, 1978), the influence of ongoing stresses and strains has received increased attention. Grannis (1992) sees a need for stress research that would include persistent conditions and daily stresses and disappointments. Compas et al. (1989) found evidence that major and daily stressors play complementary roles in relation to symptoms, with daily stressors mediating the association between major events and symptoms. Clearly, continued research is needed in the area of daily stressors.

MODERATORS OF STRESS

This sphere of study has expanded to include measurement of variables hypothesized to moderate or buffer the negative effects of stressors. Stress buffering refers to a variable's ability to protect an individual from the deleterious effects of negative life events (Cohen & Willis, 1985). Such variables can function in at least two ways (Towbes, Cohen, & Glyshaw, 1989). First, they can influence cognitive appraisals of either the negative events themselves, or the coping responses elicited. Second, they can influence the reliance on specific coping strategies. Among the most thoroughly investigated stress-buffering variables are locus of control and social support.

Locus of Control

The construct of locus of control grew out of social learning theory, and denotes the degree to which an individual perceives that reinforcement is contingent upon his or her own behavior or attributes versus external forces (Rotter, 1966). Although the degree of perceived control originates from the individual's empirical observations, it becomes a set of generalized expectancies which involve the cognitive process of interpretation. Therefore, individuals vary in their tendency to attribute personal control in a given situation. Many studies have investigated the correlates of locus of control, and internal locus of control has been shown to be associated with greater self-esteem (Koenig, Clements, & Alloy, 1992), popularity (Nowicki & Roundtree, 1971), achievement motivation (Burger, 1992) and academic success (Gordon, 1977; Cole & Sapp, 1988). It has been shown to buffer the effects of stressful life events (Siddique & D'Arcy, 1984; Cohen & Edwards, 1989). Indeed, it is the personality variable that has received the most consistent experimental support as a stress moderator (Towbes et al., 1989).

Social Support

The role of social support as a moderator of stress has also received considerable attention. In a review of the early research in this area, Cobb (1976) cited evidence that social support can protect persons in crisis from a wide variety of pathological states ranging from low birth weight to depression and alcoholism. …

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

Mediators of Adolescents' Stress in a College Preparatory Environment
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.

    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.