Presentation Title

Is Your Child Even Listening to You?: Relationship between Socialization of Coping and Coping Behavior, Moderated by Physiological Stress Reactivity

Presenter's Name(s)

Emily E. YoungFollow

Project Collaborators

Maria Lent (Graduate Student Mentor), Alexandra Sullivan (Graduate Student Mentor)

Abstract

This study investigated whether primary engagement, secondary engagement, and disengagement parent coping suggestions are related to children’s coping behavior following peer stress, and whether this association is moderated by physiological reactivity. Participants were 99 children (M = 10.76 years, 51% male) and one of their parents (73.8% mothers). Parents reported the extent to which they suggested, and the extent that their child employed, each coping strategy (Abaied & Rudolph, 2010; Compas et al., 2001). Physiological reactivity was measured while children recounted a recent peer-based stressor (Murray-Close & Crick, 2007). Regression analyses were run to investigate key study hypotheses. Findings indicated that parental suggestions were positively related to children’s use of coping strategies, although often only among children with specific physiological stress reactivity patterns. Consistent with differential susceptibility theory, children with greater SCL-R were more responsive to parent socialization of primary control coping. However, for secondary control coping, children with RSA augmentation who had parents that rarely encouraged these coping responses exhibited particularly low levels of secondary coping, consistent with diathesis stress model. Implications are discussed.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dianna Murray-Close

Graduate Student Mentors

Maria Lent, Alexandra Sullivan

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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Is Your Child Even Listening to You?: Relationship between Socialization of Coping and Coping Behavior, Moderated by Physiological Stress Reactivity

This study investigated whether primary engagement, secondary engagement, and disengagement parent coping suggestions are related to children’s coping behavior following peer stress, and whether this association is moderated by physiological reactivity. Participants were 99 children (M = 10.76 years, 51% male) and one of their parents (73.8% mothers). Parents reported the extent to which they suggested, and the extent that their child employed, each coping strategy (Abaied & Rudolph, 2010; Compas et al., 2001). Physiological reactivity was measured while children recounted a recent peer-based stressor (Murray-Close & Crick, 2007). Regression analyses were run to investigate key study hypotheses. Findings indicated that parental suggestions were positively related to children’s use of coping strategies, although often only among children with specific physiological stress reactivity patterns. Consistent with differential susceptibility theory, children with greater SCL-R were more responsive to parent socialization of primary control coping. However, for secondary control coping, children with RSA augmentation who had parents that rarely encouraged these coping responses exhibited particularly low levels of secondary coping, consistent with diathesis stress model. Implications are discussed.