Coping, Stress, and the Psychological Symptoms of Children of Divorce: A Cross‐sectional and Longitudinal Study

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287 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors conducted a cross‐sectional and prospective longitudinal study of stress, coping, and psychological symptoms in children of divorce. The sample consisted of 258 children (mean age = 10.1; SD = 1.2), of whom 196 were successfully followed 5.5 months later. A 4‐dimensional model of coping was found using confirmatory factor analysis, with the factors being active coping, avoidance, distraction, and support. In the cross‐sectional model avoidance coping partially mediated the relations between negative events and symptoms while active coping moderated the relations between negative events and conduct problems. In the longitudinal model significant negative paths were found from active coping and distraction Time 1 to internalizing symptoms Time 2, while Time 1 support coping had a positive path coefficient to Time 2 depression. Positive paths were found between negative events at Time 1 and anxiety at Time 2, and between all symptoms at Time 1 and negative events at Time 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1744-1763
Number of pages20
JournalChild development
Volume65
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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