Skip to main content

Gender Differences and Similarities in Adolescents’ Ways of Coping

Abstract

Various factors have an influence on which coping strategies are mobilized under specific circumstances, among others, age and gender. The present paper focuses on the interrelationships between the ways of coping and some health-related variables in adolescence. Data were collected among secondary school students (n = 1039) in Szeged, Hungary. Factor analysis of the shortened and adapted version of the Ways of Coping Questionnaire gave a four-factor solution: passive coping, problem-analyzing coping, risky coping, and support-seeking coping. Passive and support-seeking ways of coping were more common among girls, however, this latter way of coping proved to be a more significant correlate of psychosocial health among boys. Both among boys and girls, passive and risky coping factors played a negative role, and problem-analyzing and support-seeking coping factors played a positive role in psychosocial health. Findings suggest that maladaptive coping and psychosocial health problems might form a vicious circle in which risk-taking as a way of coping might play a central role in adolescence. When adolescents dispair of their problems, they often use drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol. They perceive it, however, rather as a form of risk-taking or sensation-seeking than a way of coping. That is why they do not reckon with its harmfulness and future consequences.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. AMIRKHAN, J. H. (1990). A factor analytically derived measure of coping: The coping strategy indicator. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1066–1074.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. BEM, S. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155–162.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. BUNNEL, D., COOPER, P., HERTZ, S., & SHENKER, I. (1992). Body shape concerns among adolescents. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 11, 79–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. COMPAS, B. E., OROSAN, P. G., & GRANT, K. E. (1993). Adolescent stress and coping: implications for psychopathology during adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 16, 331–349.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. EHRENBERG, M. F., COX, D. N., & KOOPMAN, R. F. (1990). The Millon Adolescent Personality Inventory profiles of depressed adolescents. Adolescence, 25, 415–425.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. ELKIND, D. (1984). All grown up and no place to go: Teenagers in crisis? Reading: Addison-Wesley.

    Google Scholar 

  7. ENDLER, N. S., & PARKER, J. D. A. (1990). Multidimensional assessment of coping: A critical evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 844–854.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. ERIKSON, E. H. (1968). Identity, youth, and crisis. New York: Norton Press.

    Google Scholar 

  9. FARRELL, C. M. (1993). Australian adolescent coping styles: A comparison of year 7 and year 11 male and female high school students. Master of Education thesis. University of Western Sydney.

    Google Scholar 

  10. FELDMAN, S. S., FISHER, L., RANSOM, D. C., & DIMICELI, S. (1995). Is ‘What is good for the goose good for the gander?’ Sex differences in the relationships between adolescent and adult adaptation. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 5, 333–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. FOLKMAN, S., & LAZARUS, R. S. (1980). An analysis of coping in a middle-aged community sample. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 21, 219–239.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. FOLKMAN, S., LAZARUS, R. S., DUNKEL-SCHETTER, C., DELONGIS, A., & GRUEN, R. (1986a). The dynamics of a stressful encounter. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 992–1003.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. FOLKMAN, S., LAZARUS, R. S., GRUEN, R. J., & DELONGIS, A. (1986b). Appraisal, coping, health status and psychological symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 571–579.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. FRYDENBERG, E. (1997). Adolescent coping. London and New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  15. FRYDENBERG, E., & LEWIS, R. (1991). Adolescent coping: The different ways in which boys and girls cope. Journal of Adolescence, 14, 119–133.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. FRYDENBERG, E., & LEWIS, R. (1993). Boys play sport and girls turn to others: Age, gender and ethnicity as determinants of coping. Journal of Adolescence, 16, 252–266.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. GILLIGAN, C. (1982). In a different voice. Cambridge Ma: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. GJERDE R. F., & BLOCK, J. (1991). Preadolescent antecedents of depressive symptomatology at age 18: a prospective study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 20, 217–232.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. HUMPHREY, L. L. (1989). Observed family interaction among subtypes of eating disorders using structural analysis of social behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 206–214.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. INGLEDEW, D. K., HARDY, L., COOPER, C. L., & JEMAL, H. (1996). Health behaviours reported as coping strategies: A factor analytical study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 1, 263–281.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. KOPP, M., & SKRABSKI, A. (1996). Behavioural sciences applied to a changing society. Budapest, Hungary: Bibliotheca Septem Artium Liberalium.

    Google Scholar 

  22. NOLEN-HOEKSEMA, S. (1991). Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 569–582.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. PARSONS, A., FRYDENBERG, E., & POOLE, C. (1996). Coping strategies of adolescent males. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 66, 109–114.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. PETERSEN, A. C., SARIGIANI, P. A., & KENNEDY R. E. (1991). Adolescent depression: Why more girls? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 20, 247–271.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. PIKO, B. (1996). Social support and health risk behaviour–are they interacting? Paper presented at the 10th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Dublin, Ireland.

    Google Scholar 

  26. PIKO, B. (1998). Social support and health in adolescence: A factor analytical study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 3, 333–344.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. PIKO, B., BARABAS, K., & BODA, K. (1997). Frequency of common psychosomatic symptoms and its influence on self-perceived health in a Hungarian student population. European Journal of Public Health, 7, 243–253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. PIKO, B., BARABAS, K., & MARKOS, J. (1996). Health risk behaviour of a medical student population. Report on a pilot study. Journal of the Royal Society of Health, 116, 97–100.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. RAUSTE-VON WRIGHT, M. (1987). On the life process among Finnish students: Summary report of a longitudinal study. Helsinki: Societas Scientiorium Fennica.

    Google Scholar 

  30. ROSS, C. E., & HAYES, D. (1988). Exercise and psychological well-being in the community. American Journal of Epidemiology, 127, 762–771.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. STONE, A. A., & NEALE, J. M. (1984). New measure of daily coping: development and preliminary results. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 892–906.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. STROEBE, W., & STROEBE, M. S. (1995). Social psychology and health (pp. 201–228). Buckingham: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  33. VAUX, A. (1985). Variations in social support associated with gender, ethnicity and age. Journal of Social Issues, 41, 89–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. WHEATON, B. (1985). Models for the stress-buffering functions of coping resources. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 26, 352–364.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bettina Piko.

Additional information

This study was supported by the OTKA F 017968 research grant of the National Research Fund (Hungary).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Piko, B. Gender Differences and Similarities in Adolescents’ Ways of Coping. Psychol Rec 51, 223–235 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03395396

Download citation