Developmental changes in coping and adjustment in children
Cheng, Patricia Sinpei
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Developmental differences in the relationship between coping and adjustment were examined. Participants were fourth, sixth, and eighth grade children and adolescents. Participants completed a self-report measure of their approach and avoidant coping behaviors, and their teachers completed a measure of participants’ psychosocial adjustment as measured by both positive and negative indicators. Results indicated that there were developmental differences in participants’ use of approach and avoidant coping strategies, with eighth graders using more avoidant strategies than the fourth and sixth graders. Additionally, use of approach strategies was related to more positive adjustment across the three age levels. Individual approach and avoidant coping strategies associated with greater positive adjustment are identified. This study has implications for the development of coping skills interventions.