Common problems and coping strategies reported in childhood and early adolescence

Anthony Spirito, Lori J. Stark, Nancy Grace, Dean Stamoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


This research investigated problems commonly experienced by children and young adolescents, and the strategies they use to cope with these events. Six hundred seventy-six children, ages 9-13 years, were asked to identify a problem they recently experienced and to describe the strategies they used to cope with it. In addition, they were also asked to complete a scale describing how they coped with a common problem (being grounded by parents). In general, we found that children reported four common Stressors: parents, siblings, school, and friends. These Stressors were the same across age and sex; however, the coping strategies employed differed by age and type of problem. Both age and sex effects were found in reported use of coping strategies to deal with being grounded by parents. The results of this study suggest that more research must be performed to offset the lack of data in the area of children's normative coping. The implications of the findings for clinical assessment and treatment of children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-544
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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