Resilience in Adolescents: Protective Role of Social Support, Coping Strategies, Self-Esteem, and Social Activities on Experience of Stress and Depression

Abstract

In this study, 297 adolescents (141 eighth graders and 156 eleventh graders) were classified into 3 groups created from crossing scores of depressive symptoms and frequency of daily hassles: well adjusted, resilient, and vulnerable. A discriminant function analysis was performed to investigate group differences on self-esteem, social support, different strategies of coping, and different aspects of social life. The analysis revealed that self-esteem, problem-solving coping strategies, and antisocial and illegal activities with peers helped to discriminate groups: Well-adjusted adolescents had higher self-esteem than adolescents in the 2 other groups; in addition, resilient adolescents had higher self-esteem than vulnerable adolescents. For the second significant discriminating variables, antisocial and illegal activities with peers, both resilient and vulnerable adolescents had higher scores than well-adjusted adolescents. Finally, resilient adolescents had higher scores on problem-solving coping strategies than adolescents in the 2 other groups.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

REFERENCES

  1. Aldwin, C. M. (1994). Stress, Coping, and Development: An Integrative Perspective. Guilford Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Altshuler, J., and Ruble, D. (1989). Developmental changes in children's awareness of strategies for coping with uncontrollable stress. Child Develop. 60: 1337–1349.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Aro, H., Hänninen, V., and Paronen, O. (1989). Social support, life events, and psychosomatic symptoms among 14–16 year-old adolescents. Soc. Sci. Med. 29: 1051–1056.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Barrera, M. (1986). Distinction between social support concepts, measures, and models. Am. J. Commun. Psychol. 14: 413–445.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Barrera, M., and Garrison-Jones, V. (1988). Properties of the Beck Depression Inventory as a screening instrument for adolescent depression. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 16: 263–273.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Beck, A. T. (1978). Depression Inventory. Centre for Cognitive Therapy, Philadelphia.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bettschart, W., Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nuñez, R., and Leidi, C. (1992). Evénements de vie et santé psychique à la pré-adolescence: rôle du support social. Neuropsychiatrie Enfance 40: 421–430.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bettschart, W., Nuñez, R., Bolognini, M., and Plancherel, B. (1994). L'estime de soi à la préadolescence: Une étude longitudinale. Nervure 7: 23–25.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Blanchard-Fields, F., and Coleman-Irion, J. (1988). Coping strategies from the perspective of two developmental markers: Age and social reasoning. J. Genet. Psychol. 149: 141–151.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bobo, J. K., Gilchrist, L. D., Elmer, J. F., Snow, W. H., and Schinke, S. P. (1986). Hassles, role strain, and peer relations in young adolescents. J. Early Adolesc. 6: 339–352.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nuñez, R., and Bettschart, W. (1992). Milieu de vie et personnalité. Quels sont les facteurs qui protègent les pré-adolescents du stress? Rev. Suisse Sociol. Vol: 339–361.

  12. Bouchard, G., Sabourin, S., Lussier, Y., Richer, C., and Wright, J. (1995). Nature des stratégies d'adaptation au sein des relations conjugales: Présentation d'une version abrégée du Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Rev. Can. Sci. Comport. 27: 371–377.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Bourque, P., and Beaudette, D. (1982). Étude psychométrique du questionnaire de dépression de Beck auprés d'un échantillon d'étudiants universitaires francophones. Rev. Can. Sci. Comport. 14: 211–218.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Burke, R. J., and Weir, T. (1978). Benefits to adolescents of informal helping relationships with their parents and peers. Psychol. Rep. 42: 1175–1184.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Chan, D. W. (1995). Depressive symptoms and coping strategies among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. J. Youth Adolesc. 24: 267–279.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Cohen, F. (1987). Measurement of coping. In Kasl, S. V., and Cooper, C. L. (eds.), Stress and Health: Issues in Research Methodology. Wiley, New York, pp. 283–303.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Cohen, L. H., Burt, C. E., and Bjorck, J. P. (1987). Life stress and adjustment: Effects of life events experienced by young adolescents and their parents. Develop. Psychol. 23: 583–592.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Cohen, S., and Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychol. Bull. 98: 310–357.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Compas, B. E., Slavin, L. A., Wagner, B. M., and Vannatta, K. (1986). Relationship of life events and social support with psychological dysfunction among adolescents. J. Youth Adolesc. 15: 205–221.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Compas, B. E. (1987). Coping with stress during childhood and adolescence. Psychol. Bull. 101: 393–403.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Compas, B. E., Howell, D. C., Phares, V., Williams, R. A., and Giunta, C. T. (1989). Risk factors for emotional/behavioral problems in young adolescents: A prospective analysis of adolescent and parental stress and symptoms. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 57: 732–740.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Compas, B. E., Banez, G. A., Malcarne, V., and Worsham, N. (1991). Perceived control and coping with stress: A developmental perspective. J. Soc. Issues 47: 23–34.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Copeland, E. P., and Hess, R. S. (1995). Differences in young adolescents' coping strategies based on gender ethnicity. J. Early Adolesc. 15: 203–219.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Cowan, P. A., Cowan, C. P., and Schulz, M. C. (1996). Thinking about risk and resilience in families. In Hetherington, E. M., and Blechman, E. A. (eds.), Stress, Coping, and Resiliency in Children and Families. Erlbaum, Hilsdale, NJ, pp. 1–38.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Daniels, D., and Moos, R. H. (1990). Assessing life stressors and social resources among adolescents: Applications to depressed youth. J. Adolesc. Res. 5: 268–289.

    Google Scholar 

  26. DeLongis, A., Coyne, J. C., Dakof, G., Folkman, S., and Lazarus, R. S. (1982). Relationship of daily hassles, uplifts, and major life events to health status. Health Psychol. 1: 119–136.

    Google Scholar 

  27. DeMan, A. I., Balkou, S., and Iglesisas, R. (1986). Une version canadienne française du questionnaire sur le soutien social. Santé Ment. Qué. 11: 199–202.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Dohrenwend, B. S., and Dohrenwend, B. P. (1981). Life stress and psychopathology. In Regier, D. A., and Allen, G. (eds.), Risk Factor Research in the Major Mental Disorders. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp. 131–141.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Dub, E. L. F., and Tisane, J. (1989). The relation between stressful life events and adjustment in elementary school children: The role of social support and social problem-solving skills. Child Develop. 60: 1412–1423.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Dubois, D. E. L., Fleeter, R. D., Brand, S., Adam, A., and Evens, E. G. (1992). A prospective study of life stress, social support, and adaptation in early adolescence. Child Develop. 63: 542–557.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Dumont, M., Tarabulsy, G. M., Gagnon, J., Tessier, R., and Provost, M. (1998). Validation française d'un inventaire des micro-stresseors de la vie quotidienne: Combinaison du “Daily Hassles Scale” et du “Uplift Scale.” J. Int. Psychol. 33: 57–71.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Ebata, A. T., and Moos, R. H. (1995). Personal, situational, and contextual correlates of coping in adolescence. J. Res. Adolesc. 4: 99–125.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Fanshawe, J. P., and Burnett, P. C. (1991). Assessing school-related stressors and coping mechanisms in adolescents. Br. J. Educ. Psychol. 61: 92–98.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Folkman, S., and Lazarus, R. S. (1988). Ways of Coping Questionnaire: Research Edition. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Garmezy, N. (1983). Stressors of childhood. In Garmezy, N., and Rutter, M. (eds.), Stress, Coping and Development in Children. McGraw-Hill, Minneapolis, pp. 43–84.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Gersten, J. C., Langner, T. S., Eisenberg, J. G., and Simcha-Fagan, O. (1977). An evaluation of the etiologic role of stressful life-change events in psychological disorders. J. Health Soc. Behav. 18: 228–244.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Goodyer, I. (1994). Les événements existentiels dans l'enfance et l'adolescence. In Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nuñez R., and Bettschart, W. (eds.), Préadolescence, Théorie, Recherche et Clinique. ESF, Paris, pp. 89–105.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Gore, S., and Eckenrode, J. (1996). Context and process in research on risk and resilience. In Haggerty, R. J., Sherrod, L. R., Garmezy, N., and Rutter, M. (eds.), Stress, Risk, and Resilience in Children and Adolescence: Processes, Mechanisms, and Interventions. Cambridge, University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 19–62.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Harter, S. (1985). Manual for the Self-Perception Profile for Children. University of Denver, Denver, CO.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Hasting, T. L., Anderson, S. J., and Kelley, M. L. (1996). Gender differences in coping and daily stress in conduct-disordered and non-conduct-disordered adolescents. J. Psychopathol. Behav. Assess. 18: 213–226.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Heitzmann, C. A., and Kaplan, R. M. (1988). Assessment of methods for measuring social support. Health Psychol. 7:75–109.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Herman-Stahl, M., and Petersen, A. C. (1996). The protective role of coping and social resources for depressive symptoms among young adolescents. J. Youth Adolesc. 25: 733–753.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Herman-Stahl, M. A., Stemmler, M., and Petersen, A. C. (1995). Approach and avoidant coping: Implications for adolescent mental health. J. Youth Adolesc. 24: 649–665.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Hoffman, M. A., Ushpiz, V., and Levy-Shiff, R. (1988). Social support and self-esteem in adolescence. J. Youth Adolesc. 17: 307–316.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Holland, A., and Andre, T. (1987). Participation in extracurricular activities in secondary school: What is known, what needs to be known? Rev. Educ. Res. 57: 437–466.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Holmes, T. H., and Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment of stress. J. Psychosom. Res. 11: 213–218.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Houston, J. P. (1977). Cheating behavior, anticipated success-failure, confidence, and test importance. J. Educ. Psychol. 69: 55–60.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Johnson, J. H. (1986). Life Events as Stressors in Childhood and Adolescence. Sage, Newbury Park, CA.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Kanner, A. D., Coyne, J. C., Schaefer, C., and Lazarus, R. S. (1981). Comparisons of two modes of stress measurement: Daily hassles and uplifts versus major life events. J. Behav. Med. 4: 1–39.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Kanner, A. D., Feldman, S. S., Weinberger, D. A., and Ford, M. E. (1987). Uplifts, hassles, and adaptational outcomes in early adolescents. J. Early Adolesc. 7: 371–394.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Kurdek, L. A. (1987). Gender differences in the psychological symptomatology and coping strategies of young adolescents. J. Early Adolesc. 7: 395–410.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Lazarus, S. R. (1966). Psychological Stress and the Coping. MacGraw-Hill, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Lazarus, S. R., and Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal and Coping. Springer, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Mantzicopoulos, P. (1990). Coping with school failure: Characteristics of students employing successful and unsuccessful coping strategies. Psychol. Schools 27: 138–143.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Mischara, B. (1987). Traduction Française du Ways of Coping Checklist. Unpublished manuscript, UQAM, Montréal.

  56. Nuñez, R., Plancherel, B., Bolognini, M., and Bettschart, W. (1992). Mental heath, stress and protective factors in early adolescence: Longitudinal study over 3 years. Med. Mind 7: 37–62.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Patterson, J. M., McCubbin, H., and Needle, R. H. (1983). A-Cope. Adolescent-Coping Orientation for Problem Experiences. Family Stress Coping and Health Program. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Plancherel, B., Nuñez, R., Bolognini, M., Leidi, C., and Bettschart, W. (1992). L'évaluation des événements existentiels comme prédicteurs de la santé psychique à la préadolescence. Rev. Eur. Psychol. Appl. 42: 229–239.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Plancherel, B., Bolognini, M., Nuñez, R., and Bettschart, W. (1993). Comments les pré-adolescents font-ils face aux difficultés? Présentation d'une version française du questionnaire A-Cope. Rev. Suisse Psychol. 52: 31–43.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Plancherel, B., Bolognini, M., and Nuñez, R. (1994). L'hypothèse de l'effet buffer à la préadolescence. In Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nuñez, R., and Bettschart, W. (eds.), Préadolescence: Théorie, Recherche et Clinique. ESF, Paris, pp. 159–172.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Plancherel, B., Bolognini, M., Bettschart, W., Dumont, M., and Halfon, O. (1997). Influence comparée des événements existentiels et des tracas quotidiens sur la santé psychique à la préadolescence. Neuropsychiatrie Enfance Adolesc. 45: 126–138.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Provost, M. (1995). Le Soutien Social: Quelques Facettes d'une Notion à Explorer. Editions Behaviora, Québec.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Rae-Grant, N., Thomas, H., Offord, D., and Boyle, J. (1989). Risk, protective factors, and the prevalence of behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adolescents. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. 28: 262–268.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Reich, W. P., Parrella., D. P., and Filstead, W. J. (1988). Unconfounding the hassles scale: External sources versus internal responses to stress. J. Behav. Med. 11: 239–249.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Reinhard, H., and Ott, G. (1994). Stress scolaire et personnalité. In Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nuñez, R., and Bettschart, W. (eds.), Préadolescence: Théorie, Recherche et Clinique. ESF, Paris, pp. 107–117.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Roos, P. E., and Cohen, L. H. (1987). Sex role and social support as moderators of life stress adjustment. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 52: 576–585.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Rosenbaum-Asarnow, J., Carlson., G. A., and Guthrie, D. (1987). Coping strategies, self-perceptions, hopelessness, and perceived family environments in depressed and suicidal children. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 55: 361–366.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Rowlison, R. T., and Felner, R. D. (1988). Major life events, hassles, and adaptation in adolescence: Confounding in the conceptualisation and measurement of life stress and adjustment revisited. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 55: 432–444.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Rutter, M. (1979). Protective factors in children's responses to stress and disadvantage. In Kent, M. W., and Rolf, J. E. (eds.), Primary Prevention of Psychopathology. Vol 3. Social Competence in Children. University of New England, Henniker, NH, pp. 49–74.

    Google Scholar 

  70. Sarason, I. G., Sarason, B. R., Shearin, E., and Pierce, G. R. (1987). A brief measure of social support: Practical and theoretical implications. J. Soc. Pers. Relat. 4: 497–510.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Seidman, E., LaRue, A., Aber, J. L., Mitchell, C., Feinman, J., Yoshikawa, H., Comtois, K. A., Golz, J., Miller, R. L., Ortiz-Torres, B., and Roper, G. C. (1995). Development and validation of adolescent-perceived microsystem scales: Social support, daily hassles, and involvement. Am. J. Commun. Psychol. 23: 355–388.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1994a). Le coping à l'adolescence: âge, sexe et différence culturelle. In Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nuñez, R., and Bettschart, W. (eds.), Préadolescence: Théorie, Recherche et Clinique. ESF, Paris, pp. 173–183.

    Google Scholar 

  73. Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1994b). Les modes d'adjustement aux situations stressantes du développement: Comparaison d'adolescents normaux et d'adolescents perturbés. Orientat. Scol. Prof. 23: 313–327.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1995). Stress, Coping, and Relationships in Adolescence. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Smith, R. E., Smoll, F. L., and Ptacek, J. (1990). Conjunctive moderator variables in vulnerability and resiliency research: Life stress, social support and coping skills, and adolescent sport injuries. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 58: 360–370.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Spirito, A., Stark, L. J., Grace, N., and Stamoulis, D. (1991). common problems and coping strategies reported in childhood and early adolescence. J. Youth Adolesc. 20: 531–544.

    Google Scholar 

  77. Stanley, J. C., and Hopkins, K. D. (1972). Educational and Psychological Measurement and Evaluation. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Clifs, NJ.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Swearingen, E. M., and Cohen, L. H. (1985). Life events and psychological distress: A prospective study of young adolescents. Develop. Psychol. 21: 1045–1054.

    Google Scholar 

  79. Thoits, P. A. (1983). Dimensions of life events that influence psychological distress: An evaluation and synthesis of the literature. In Kaplan, H. B. (ed.), Psychosocial Stress: Trends in Theory and Research. Academic Press, New York, pp. 33–103.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Thoits, P. A. (1995). Stress, coping, and social support processes: Where are we? What next? J. Health Soc. Behav. 53–79.

  81. Tolor, A., and Fehon, D. (1987). Coping with stress: A study of male adolescents' coping strategies as related to adjustment. J. Adolesc. Res. 2: 33–42.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Tyszkowa, M. (1990). Coping with difficult school situations and stress resistance. In Bosma, H., and Jackson, S. (eds.), Coping and Self-Concept in Adolescence. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 187–201.

    Google Scholar 

  83. Wagner, B. M., and Compas, B. E. (1990). Gender, instrumentality, and expressivity: Moderators of the relation between stress and psychological symptoms during adolescence. Am. J. Commun. Psychol. 18: 383–406.

    Google Scholar 

  84. Wheaton, B. (1985). Models for the stress-buffering functions of coping resources. J. Heath Soc. Behav. 26, 352–364.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Wertlieb, D., Weigel, C., and Feldstein, M. (1987). Stress, social support, and behavior symptoms in middle childhood. J. Clin. Child Psychol. 16: 204–211.

    Google Scholar 

  86. Zarski, J. J. (1984). Hassles and health: A replication. Health Psychol. 3: 243–251.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Zimmerman, M. A., and Arunkumar, R. (1994). Resiliency research: Implications for schools and policy. Soc. Policy Rep. Soc. Res. Child Develop. 8: 1–17.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dumont, M., Provost, M.A. Resilience in Adolescents: Protective Role of Social Support, Coping Strategies, Self-Esteem, and Social Activities on Experience of Stress and Depression. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 28, 343–363 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021637011732

Download citation

Keywords

  • Depressive Symptom
  • Social Support
  • Function Analysis
  • Coping Strategy
  • Social Activity