Presentation Title

Sticks, Stones, and Social Exclusion: Do Parents’ Recommended Coping Strategies Vary by Child Victimization Type?

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Childhood peer victimization is associated with heightened risk for a variety of psychological problems, especially among individuals with maladaptive coping strategies (Hampel et al., 2009). Parents may serve as an important source of advice on how to cope with the stressors; in fact, previous research has shown that child-parent relationship quality is related to adolescent coping (Bradbury, 2016). Victimization type is also known to affect children’s coping strategies; children adjust their coping strategies to fit the type of stressor they experience (Compas et al., 1988), such that relationally victimized (e.g., socially excluded) youth are more likely to exhibit internalizing coping and physically victimized (e.g., being hit) youth are more likely to exhibit externalizing coping (Roecker Phelps, 2001; Waasdorp et al., 2009). However, there is a lack of research looking at whether parents adjust their recommended coping strategies based on physical versus relational victimization. Using the Socialization of Coping Measure and Children’s Social Experiences Questionnaire from the Peer Relationships Interview project (N=98), a research project which assessed children ages 8 to 12 years, we will examine which form of victimization is related to which type of parental coping recommendations. We expect parents to offer differential coping suggestions based on the type of victimization experienced and gender of the child. Specifically, because parents tend to view physical aggression as more serious, we expect that parents will provide more primary control coping suggestions (e.g., discuss the problem with the aggressor) for physically victimized children and more secondary control coping suggestions (e.g., self-reflection) for relationally victimized children. Gender differences in parent suggestions will be investigated in an exploratory fashion. Implications of the findings will be discussed.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dianna Murray-Close

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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Sticks, Stones, and Social Exclusion: Do Parents’ Recommended Coping Strategies Vary by Child Victimization Type?

Childhood peer victimization is associated with heightened risk for a variety of psychological problems, especially among individuals with maladaptive coping strategies (Hampel et al., 2009). Parents may serve as an important source of advice on how to cope with the stressors; in fact, previous research has shown that child-parent relationship quality is related to adolescent coping (Bradbury, 2016). Victimization type is also known to affect children’s coping strategies; children adjust their coping strategies to fit the type of stressor they experience (Compas et al., 1988), such that relationally victimized (e.g., socially excluded) youth are more likely to exhibit internalizing coping and physically victimized (e.g., being hit) youth are more likely to exhibit externalizing coping (Roecker Phelps, 2001; Waasdorp et al., 2009). However, there is a lack of research looking at whether parents adjust their recommended coping strategies based on physical versus relational victimization. Using the Socialization of Coping Measure and Children’s Social Experiences Questionnaire from the Peer Relationships Interview project (N=98), a research project which assessed children ages 8 to 12 years, we will examine which form of victimization is related to which type of parental coping recommendations. We expect parents to offer differential coping suggestions based on the type of victimization experienced and gender of the child. Specifically, because parents tend to view physical aggression as more serious, we expect that parents will provide more primary control coping suggestions (e.g., discuss the problem with the aggressor) for physically victimized children and more secondary control coping suggestions (e.g., self-reflection) for relationally victimized children. Gender differences in parent suggestions will be investigated in an exploratory fashion. Implications of the findings will be discussed.