Study: Parents key to how we handle stress

December 20, 2005

A German study examining adolescent to young adult coping styles finds those with coherent parental relationships deal more effectively with stress.

The study by Inge Seiffgre-Krenke and Wim Beyers at the University of Mainz, Germany, finds such individuals deal with their problems more actively by seeking support and reflecting on possible solutions. They also become increasingly more competent in dealing with a variety of stressors.

Those considered insecure or poorly attached to their parents showed only minor growth in their coping styles, were less inclined to seek support and frequently used poor coping behaviors, such as withdrawal.

"Whereas the adaptive coping style in secure individuals may result in long-term positive outcome, insecure individuals are at risk for maladaptive outcome, because their coping styles may not result in a reduction of distress," Seiffgre-Krenke and Beyers conclude.

The research appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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