Coping Skills in Pre- and Early Adolescents: The Role of Temperament and Character.
Published on Jul 5, 2021in Journal of Genetic Psychology0.923
· DOI :10.1080/00221325.2021.1944044
Coping skills represent cognitive, emotional, and behavioral resources to overcome developmental challenges and tasks. Based on Cloninger's model of personality, the main aim of this study was to analyze the relation among temperament, character, and coping skills in nonclinical pre- and early adolescents by also considering adolescents' gender and age. One hundred and thirty-eight Italian pre- and early adolescents (52.2% boys and 47.8% girls), aged between 10-14 years (M = 12.33 ± 0.87 SD), filled out the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory and the Children's Coping Strategies Checklist Revision 1. Regression and relative weights analyses showed that several of adolescents' personality dimensions did predict their coping skills. Specifically, Harm Avoidance was negatively related to Positive Reframing and Distraction; this latter (i.e., Distraction) was also negatively associated with Novelty Seeking, Self-Directedness, and Cooperativeness. On the contrary, Cooperativeness was positively related to the use of Problem Focus strategy, and Reward Dependence was positively related to Distraction and Social Support. Significant gender and age differences in personality as well as in coping skills emerged. Girls scored higher on Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence, Persistence and Problem Focus, and boys scored higher on Novelty Seeking and Distraction. Moreover, pre-adolescents (10-12 years) reported lower scores on Novelty Seeking and higher on Problem Focus than early adolescents (13-14 years). Overall, the results suggest that bio-psycho-social individual factors linked to personality, gender, and age have an important role in shaping pre- and early adolescents' coping and adaptation responses. Practical implications of the results and future developments are discussed.