Parenting Behaviors and Children's Coping with Stress: Socialization of Coping Methods and Messages
In a follow up to Watson (2015), the current study examined the potential association of the methods that parents use to communicate coping strategies to their children, the messages that parents communicate, the impact of positive parenting, and how their children cope with stress. In a sample of 111 children (9 – 15 years old) and their mothers, reports of children’s ways of coping with interpersonal stress were obtained from children and mothers, and mothers reported on the messages they used to coach their children’s coping. Parent and child interactions, in which parents were given the opportunity to coach their child through a stressful situation, were observationally coded based on methods of socialization, positive parenting, and type of coping message communicated. Findings indicated that positive parenting was negatively correlated with maternal socialization of disengagement coping, suggesting that mothers who typically display positive parenting qualities are less likely to suggest disengagement coping strategies to their children. There were no statistically significant correlations between positive parenting and socialization of primary control or secondary control coping. Additional bivariate correlational analyses revealed that parents who exhibited more positive parenting characteristics were more likely to utilize either Questions in Service of Advisement or Modeling as methods of coping socialization. Linear regression analyses showed that maternal socialization of secondary control coping predicted child use of secondary control coping. Child age also predicted child use of secondary control coping strategies. There were no direct associations between maternal socialization of primary control coping or disengagement coping with children’s use of these specific coping strategies.