Coping With Concerns: An Exploratory Comparison of Australian, Colombian, German, and Palestinian Adolescents

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 32, No. 1, 59-66
Year of Publication: 
Rasmiyah Hannoun
Department of Psychology,An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Current Affiliation: 
Department of Psychology,An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Erica Frydenberg
The Faculty of Education in the University of Melbourne, Australia
Ramon Lewis
The Institute for Education, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Gregor Kennedy
The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences in the University of Melbourne
Ruben Ardila
The National University of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia
Wolfgang Frindte
The Communication Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Jena Germany
Preferred Abstract (Original): 

Consistent with an emphasis on positive psychology, and on ability rather than deficit, this study of adolescents in 4 communities sought to examine how young people cope with their concerns. Samples of Australian, Colombian, German, and Palestinian students completed the general form of the Adolescent Coping Scale, an 80-item instrument used to measure coping. A comparison of young people’s usage of 3 coping styles and 18 coping strategies within these communities indicated that Palestinian youth report greater usage of all but three strategies (namely, physical recreation, relaxation, and tension reduction), and German youth report the least usage of 2/3 of the strategies assessed. Both Palestinian and Colombian youth were noted to utilize more seek to belong, focus on the positive, social action, solving the problem, seeking spiritual support, andworry than were German or Australian adolescents. When the relative usage of coping strategies within national settings was considered, some noticeable differences were apparent. For example it was found that regardless of the national setting young people reported most frequent use of working hard and use of problem solving strategies. When it comes to more culturally determined activities such as physical recreation, the Australian and German students ranked this strategy more highly in their coping repertoires than do the Colombians, and more noticeably, the Palestinian students. For example, although physical recreation is ranked as the second most commonly used strategy for the German sample, it is ranked 16th by the Palestinians. The study demonstrates the importance of identifying coping strategies that are reflective of each community under investigation. Similarity in coping cannot be assumed across different student populations. Consequently caution needs to be exercised when importing coping programs from one community to another.

Coping With Concerns: An Exploratory Comparison of Australian, Colombian, German, and Palestinian Adolescents48.62 KB