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Adolescent coping in the Australian context


Coping has been investigated and discussed as a theoretical construct since the 1960s. Attempts at its measurement have resulted in the development of a number of self-report inventories, and projective techniques.

This study attempted to establish the range of coping strategies employed by Australian adolescents. It was not an aim of this study to develop Australian scales, although the item pool utilized in this investigation has been of value for scale development. The study is based on the cognitive phenomenological theory of coping described by Richard Lazarus.

Data were collected, in both open and closed forms from a total of 1,211 high school students in four phases during 1986 and 1987, from 11 schools in metropolitan Melbourne.

The open data comprised 2,041 descriptions of how 643 students coped with an identified concern. These were subsequently grouped into 156 independent categories and formed the basis of a questionnaire designed to make explicit, domains of student coping. The closed data took the form of 500 students’ responses to a 156-item checklist based on the open data. These data were analysed using factor analytical procedures.

The results of the investigation indicate that there are thirteen conceptually clear coping strategies utilised by Australian adolescents.

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Frydenberg, E., Lewis, R. Adolescent coping in the Australian context. Aust. Educ. Res. 18, 65–82 (1991).

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  • Coping Strategy
  • Coping Behaviour
  • Australian Context
  • Coping Scale
  • Australian Student