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J Genet Psychol. 1994 Sep;155(3):289-302.

Temperament and school-aged children's coping abilities and responses to stress.

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  • 1Department of Home Economics, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82071.


To measure children's temperament and coping abilities, we administered the Stress Impact Scale to sixty 9- to 12-year-old children. Trained observers also completed an observational rating scale of coping behavior, the Coping Inventory, for each of the participants. The Stress Response Scale and Middle Childhood Temperament Questionnaire were completed by the mothers of the participants. Results showed that activity level was most predictive of effective coping as observed in the school environment. Dimensions of temperament that were most closely associated with less difficult responses to stress, fewer behavior problems, and a lower perceived stress impact were the following: predictability of behavior, positive mood, adaptability to change, higher approach, lower intensity of reaction, and lower responsiveness threshold. Age was also strongly associated with coping abilities observed in the school environment. The results have implications for therapists, teachers, and other professionals who work with children.

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