Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 73–83 | Cite as

Age and Gender Effects on Coping in Children and Adolescents

Article

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate age and gender effects of children’s and adolescents’ coping with common stressors in 3 age groups (late childhood, early, and middle adolescence). Furthermore, age and developmental differences in situation-specific coping with 2 stress domains were examined. N = 1,123 participants (ages 8 to 13 years) were asked to complete the German Coping Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (Hampel et al., 2001) in response to both an interpersonal and an academic stressor. Adolescent boys and girls, as well as girls from all age ranges scored lower on adaptive and higher on maladaptive coping strategies. With regard to interaction effects, female early adolescents coped maladaptively with common stressors, showing a decreased employment of adaptive (e.g., distraction, positive self-instructions) and an enhanced use of maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., rumination, aggression). Situation-specific coping did not differ consistently with age and gender. Implications of the findings for mental health care and developing clinical treatment of children and adolescents are discussed.

Keywords

stress coping children and adolescents 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Clinical Psychology and RehabilitationUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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