Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 161–175 | Cite as

Gender Comparisons of Self-Identified Strengths and Coping Strategies: A Study of Adolescents in an Acute Psychiatric Facility

  • Edgar H. TysonEmail author
  • Tiffany S. Baffour
  • Paul DuongTran


This study examined gender comparisons of adolescents in psychiatric acute care who responded to an intervention designed to help youth self-identify strengths and coping strategies. A cross-sectional survey design and a random, census-based sampling approach were employed to obtain data from 281 adolescents. During the study period, a small group method was used to deliver a solution-focused, brief-therapy intervention to these adolescents. These data revealed that 38.2% identified an “arts-based” strength, 26.7% of the sample utilized a “relational” strategy and 26.1% reported a variety of sports and physical activity as a means of coping with crises. Controlling for psychiatric diagnosis, we found gender differences and similarities in the types of strengths identified by adolescents in this study. One application of these results is that they support the continued practice of engaging young clients in clinical settings using strength-based perspectives.


Adolescents Mental health Strengths-based perspectives Solution-focused therapy 



This project was supported in part by a CSWE/SAMHSA Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Training awarded to the first author. The authors would like to thank the hospital administration for their approval of this study and the youth who participated in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgar H. Tyson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tiffany S. Baffour
    • 2
  • Paul DuongTran
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Social ServiceFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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