Links between coping strategies and depressive symptoms among girls and boys during the transition to primary school

Mun Amanda WONG, Thomas G. POWER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined the association between Chinese children's coping strategies and depressive symptoms within the context of the transition from preschool to primary school in Hong Kong. Research Findings: Principal component analyses of children's strategies for coping with stress during the transition to school revealed three factors: negative coping, positive coping, and distraction. Children's strategies were moderately stable over time, but the relationship between coping and depressive symptoms differed for boys and girls. Girls' positive coping strategies at Time 1 predicted fewer depressive symptoms at Time 2, whereas girls' use of distraction positively predicted later depressive symptoms. Boys' depressive symptoms at Time 1 predicted negative coping strategies at Time 2. The present findings show that distraction may not always be an effective way to help young children reduce depressive symptoms, and that coping strategies may have a greater impact on reducing later depression risk for girls than for boys. Practice or Policy: Implications for future studies and practices are discussed at the end of this paper. This study provides information for educators and government and non-government organizations in developing programs to help children with effective coping strategies during their first year at school. Copyright © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-195
JournalEarly Education and Development
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online dateNov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Citation

Wong, M., & Power, T. G. (2019). Links between coping strategies and depressive symptoms among girls and boys during the transition to primary school. Early Education and Development, 30(2), 178-195. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2018.1544811

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