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J Adolesc. 2000 Dec;23(6):675-91.

Causal links between stressful events, coping style, and adolescent symptomatology.

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Department of Psychology, Johannes Gutenburg-University Mainz, Staudingerweg, Mainz, Germany.


In a longitudinal study, the causal links between different types of stressors, coping styles and adolescent symptomatology were investigated. A total of 94 adolescents and their mothers participated in three annual assessments of critical life events, daily stressors and coping styles. The longitudinal associations between life events, everyday stressors, a dysfunctional coping style and symptomatology were analyzed via a path-analytic model. Critical life events and daily stressors were found to be strongly related over time; however, the type of stressor was not consistently linked with adolescent symptomatology. In contrast, withdrawal, a form of avoidant coping, emerged as a significant predictor of adolescent symptomatology across all times. Further, emotional and behavioral problems led to a time-lagged increase in withdrawal, creating a vicious circle. The results are discussed with reference to the coping-skill deficit model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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