We tested several models of the associations among economic strain, life stress, coping, involuntary stress responses, and psychological symptoms in a sample of 57 parent-adolescent dyads from rural, lower-income families. Economic strain and life stress predicted symptoms for both parents and adolescents. Stressor-symptom specificity was found for parents, such that economic strain uniquely predicted depression, whereas negative life events predicted hostility. Involuntary stress responses were associated with higher levels of symptoms for both parents and the adolescent children. Secondary control coping was associated with fewer symptoms for both parents and adolescents. Results support a mediational role of coping and responses to stress during adolescence, with a shift to moderational status in adulthood. Implications of these results are discussed with regard to developmental coping theory and potential interventions with at-risk families.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies