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

Abstract

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.

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Seiffge-Krenke, I., Klessinger, N. Long-Term Effects of Avoidant Coping on Adolescents' Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 29, 617–630 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026440304695

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Keywords

  • Depressive Symptom
  • Longitudinal Analysis
  • Coping Style
  • Small Subgroup
  • Avoidant Coping