Parenting, Family Stress, Developmental Cascades, and the Differential Development of Coping
In this chapter, we explore parenting and family stress as foundations for the differential development of coping during childhood and adolescence, and describe several ways in which adaptive and maladaptive coping contribute to developmental cascades that lead toward resilience or psychopathology. First, we draw on research on parenting and coping to highlight ways in which different styles of parenting can provide alternative frameworks that shape the directions toward which coping will likely grow. Second, we consider parenting as it takes place within the larger family system, exploring the notion that parents’ and children’s coping can be seen as parts of a reciprocal interpersonal coping system, in which parental coping (including coping with the normative demands of parenting) creates both stressors and supports that shape children’s coping, and in which children’s adaptive and maladaptive coping, in turn, generates stressors and supports for parent’s subsequent coping. The chapter ends with a discussion of three ways in which adaptive and maladaptive coping participate in the creation of developmental cascades that eventuate in well-being and resilience or in maladjustment and psychopathology: They are important markers that comprise early warning signs of emerging strengths and vulnerabilities; they show their own recursive internal dynamics that sustain or amplify resilience and risk; and they represent a significant player, or “active ingredient” in propelling upward or downward movement, by directly influencing subsequent next steps in developmental cascades.