The present study examined the perceived stressful life events and patterns of coping strategies used by children and adolescents in Hong Kong. The influence of age and gender is the focus of this study. A sample of 141 primary 3 and 6 students (76 males, 65 females) and 317 secondary 1 and 3 students (154 males, 163 females) provided information on multiple aspects of stressful life events as well as their coping strategies. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to determine the effects of the two variables. For stressful life events, the results indicated that "unsatisfactory academic results" was perceived by the subjects as the major source of stressor irrespective of their grade and gender. Analyses revealed that the preadolescent females perceived higher stress level from society, whereas the early adolescent females reported higher stress level across all domains except personal domain. For ways of coping, responses indicated that "seeking social support" was the most common coping strategy for both children and early adolescent females, whereas the males tended to use "confrontive coping" strategy irrespective of their age. Moreover, the primary students in the sample tended to use "distancing" and "escape-avoidance" coping strategies whereas the secondary students tended to use "self-controlling" and "planful problem-solving" coping strategies. Similarities and differences in stress and coping among children and adolescents in terms of age and gender are discussed.
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1997|