On the limits of coping: Interaction between stress and coping for inner-city adolescents

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186 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of four coping dimensions - active coping, avoidance, distraction, and support - on conduct problems, depression, and achievement in a multi-ethnic, inner-city sample of early adolescents. The main effects of coping were examined, along with stress X coping interactions. For girls, active coping interacted with family and community stress to predict conduct problems and grades, respectively, and with community stress to predict depression. These interactions revealed a classic stress-buffering effect for active coping. For boys, although active coping interacted with community and peer stress to predict depression and with community and family stress to predict grades, these findings did not support the stress-buffering effect. Although avoidant coping was positively associated with depression and poor grades at low levels of stress, it was associated with more adaptive functioning on these outcomes at higher levels of stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-395
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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