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Specific coping behaviors in relation to adolescent depression and suicidal ideation

by Adam G. Horwitz, Ryan M. Hill, Cheryl A. King
Journal of Adolescence ()

Abstract

The coping strategies used by adolescents to deal with stress may have implications for the development of depression and suicidal ideation. This study examined coping categories and specific coping behaviors used by adolescents to assess the relation of coping to depression and suicidal ideation. In hierarchical regression models, the specific coping behaviors of behavioral disengagement and self-blame were predictive of higher levels of depression; depression and using emotional support were predictive of suicidal ideation. Results suggest that specific behaviors within the broad coping categories of emotion-focused coping (e.g., self-blame) and avoidant coping (e.g., behavioral disengagement) account for these categories' associations with depression and suicidal ideation. Specific problem-focused coping strategies did not independently predict lower levels of depression or suicidal ideation. It may be beneficial for interventions to focus on eliminating maladaptive coping behaviors in addition to introducing or enhancing positive coping behaviors. ?? 2010 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.

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