Approach and avoidant coping

Implications for adolescent mental health

Mindy A. Herman-Stabl, Mark Kurt Stemmler, Anne C. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

202 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We conducted a short-term longitudinal study examining the structure of coping behavior and the relationship between coping style and depression during adolescence. The sample consisted of 603 adolescents in Grades 6-11 who were surveyed in the fall of 1989 and again in the fall of 1990. A two-dimensional model of coping was found using confirmatory factor analysis with the factors being approach and avoidant coping. Four cross-sectional and seven longitudinal coping groups were formed to explore group differences in depression. Approach copers reported the fewest symptoms of depression, while avoidant copers reported the most. Subjects who changed over time from approach to avoidant coping evidenced a significant increase in depressive symptoms, whereas subjects who switched from avoidant to approach coping displayed a significant decrease in depression over a one-year period. These findings imply that adolescents who are able to elicit social support, engage in problem solving, and cognitively restructure events within a positive light are more likely to successfully negotiate the challenges of adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-665
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995

Fingerprint

Mental Health
coping
mental health
Depression
adolescent
adolescence
Psychological Adaptation
coping behavior
Social Support
Statistical Factor Analysis
Longitudinal Studies
Adolescent Health
social support
factor analysis
longitudinal study
Light
Group
event

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Herman-Stabl, Mindy A. ; Stemmler, Mark Kurt ; Petersen, Anne C. / Approach and avoidant coping : Implications for adolescent mental health. In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 1995 ; Vol. 24, No. 6. pp. 649-665.
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Approach and avoidant coping : Implications for adolescent mental health. / Herman-Stabl, Mindy A.; Stemmler, Mark Kurt; Petersen, Anne C.

In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 24, No. 6, 01.12.1995, p. 649-665.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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