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ERIC Number: ED231541
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Childhood Stress and Coping: A Review and Cognitive-Developmental Theory.
Hawkins, Raymond C., II
This paper reviews recent empirical and conceptual studies pertaining to stress in childhood and offers an integrative, cognitive-developmental theory for understanding childhood stress and coping. The theory builds upon Hunt's (1979) view of the epigenesis of intrinsic motivation and Block's (1982) formulation of assimilation and accommodation processes in personality dynamics. Key theoretical assumptions in the literature on adult stress, adaptation, and coping are first pointed out. Nine key questions are formulated to assess the usefulness of the adult stress-coping paradigm for understanding stress in children and adolescents. With respect to the theoretical assumptions of the adult stress-coping paradigm, the first two questions address the "stressor/appraisal/distress" sequence and the primacy of external stressors in producing distress reactions. The third question focuses on the diseases-of-adaptation syndrome. Questions four through seven address the importance of organismic tendencies in moderating the relationship between stress and distress, as well as the development of these coping resources. The eighth question inquires into the effectiveness of stress-coping interventions for treating children's behavior disorders. Finally, the ninth question sets the stage for the presentation of an integrative formulation for understanding childhood stress and coping. (RH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Critical Analysis; Developmental Patterns; Developmental Theory; Intrinsic Motivation; Life Events
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Convention of the Texas Psychological Association (Houston, TX, November, 1981).