Adolescents’ Coping Socialization: The Interactive Role of Maternal Coping Suggestions and Adolescents’ Coping in Predicting Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Anderson, Allegra Skye
Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by increased exposure to stress in several life domains and a concomitant increase in risk for several types of internalizing and externalizing problems. Of particular salience is a marked increase in exposure to peer stress, such as social exclusion or peer victimization, which co-occurs with a rise in time spent with peers separate from adults. As a consequence, adolescence represents an important time for the development of effective emotion regulation skills and strategies for coping with interpersonal stress. An important factor that is heavily involved in shaping and influencing how adolescents cope with stress is the type of coping socialization they receive from their parents. This process, referred to as the socialization of coping, involves either a parent’s explicit coaching or modeling of coping strategies for adolescents and plays a crucial role in not only the development of effective coping strategies, but also in adolescents’ internalizing symptoms. Accordingly, the current study examined the relationship between maternal socialization of coping, adolescent coping with peer stress, and adolescents’ symptoms of anxiety and depression. Findings suggest that maternal coping suggestions are related both to adolescents’ coping strategies and emotional wellbeing. Furthermore, the impact of adolescents’ coping strategies appears to vary as a function of the extent to which mothers encourage specific types of coping. Findings emphasize a need for researchers to further clarify the impact of maternal coping suggestions on youth coping and adjustment as they navigate interpersonal stressors encountered during adolescence.