Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 481–501 | Cite as

A Structural Equation Modeling Approach to the Study of Stress and Psychological Adjustment in Emerging Adults

  • Kia K. Asberg
  • Clint Bowers
  • Kimberly RenkEmail author
  • Cliff McKinney
Original Article


Today’s society puts constant demands on the time and resources of all individuals, with the resulting stress promoting a decline in psychological adjustment. Emerging adults are not exempt from this experience, with an alarming number reporting excessive levels of stress and stress-related problems. As a result, the present study addresses the need for a comprehensive model of emerging adult adjustment in the context of stress and coping variables and highlights the importance of accounting for differences between males and females in research concerning stress, social support, coping, and adjustment. Participants for this study are 239 college students (122 males and 117 females), the majority of whom are Caucasian. Results of structural equation modeling suggest that stress, social support, coping, and adjustment show unique patterns of relationships for males versus females. For both males and females, stress and social support show similar relationships to adjustment. In contrast, social support is related only to coping behaviors in females. Finally, social support appears to be a more important variable for female adjustment, whereas other coping behaviors appear to be more pertinent to male adjustment. Limitations and suggestions for future research will be discussed.


Emerging Adults Stress Adjustment Perceived Social Support Coping SEM 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kia K. Asberg
    • 1
  • Clint Bowers
    • 1
  • Kimberly Renk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cliff McKinney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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