Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 617–630 | Cite as

Long-Term Effects of Avoidant Coping on Adolescents' Depressive Symptoms

  • Inge Seiffge-Krenke
  • Nicolai Klessinger


The impact of different types of coping styles on adolescents' depressive symptoms was investigated in a prospective study. One hundred and ninety-four adolescents participated in 4 annual assessments of coping styles and depressive symptoms. Longitudinal analyses revealed long-term differences in depressive symptoms, depending on coping style. Adolescents with an approach-oriented coping style reported the fewest depressive symptoms at Time 3 and Time 4, whereas avoidant copers reported the most at both times. Higher levels of depressive symptoms 2 years later were found in all adolescents who used avoidant coping, irrespective of whether they used avoidant coping consistently at Time 1 and Time 2 or changed from approach-oriented coping to avoidant coping at Time 2. This effect was independent of gender and time. The results suggest that most adolescents show an overall adaptive way of coping, but a small subgroup shows a fairly rigid use of avoidant coping. They further suggest that all forms of avoidant coping, whether stable or not, were linked with high levels of depressive symptoms even 2 years later.


Depressive Symptom Longitudinal Analysis Coping Style Small Subgroup Avoidant Coping 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inge Seiffge-Krenke
    • 1
  • Nicolai Klessinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Mainz UniversityGermany

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