, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 31-40

Gender and Gender-Role Orientation Differences on Adolescents' Coping with Peer Stressors

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Abstract

Gender and gender-role orientation differences were explored on adolescents' coping with peer stressors. Eighth-grade and ninth-grade public junior high school students (N = 285) completed the COPE, reporting the strategies they recently used to deal with a stressful peer-related situation. Measures of gender-role orientation (Bem Sex-Role Inventory) and demographic information also were obtained. Factor analysis of the COPE revealed 4 distinct coping factors: active, avoidant, acceptance, and emotion-focused. The most frequently reported stressful event was arguments/fights with same-sex friends. Girls reported more arguments/fights with opposite-sex friends. Boys reported more physical fights and threats. Students' ratings of how much the situation mattered were used as a covariate in a MANCOVA to compare coping by gender and gender-role orientation, to control for perceived stressfulness of situations. Significant gender-role orientation differences were found for active, acceptance, and emotion-focused coping.