Progress and issues in the study of coping with stress during childhood and adolescence are reviewed. Definitions of coping are considered, and the relationship between coping and other aspects of responses to stress (e.g., temperament and stress reactivity) is described. Questionnaire, interview, and observation measures of child and adolescent coping are evaluated with regard to reliability and validity. Studies of the association of coping with symptoms of psychopathology and social and academic competence are reviewed. Initial progress has been made in the conceptualization and measurement of coping, and substantial evidence has accumulated on the association between coping and adjustment. Problems still remain in the conceptualization and measurement of coping in young people, however, and aspects of the development and correlates of coping remain to be identified. An agenda for future research on child-adolescent coping is outlined.
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