ERIC Number: ED228588
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct-15
Reference Count: 0
Coping with Parental Problems: Issues in Judging Effectiveness.
Empirical knowledge of coping usage and coping effectiveness has lagged behind popular interest. To examine the effectiveness of specific coping efforts in a single role area--parenting--panel data from a large metropolitan population were examined. The same coping efforts were assessed using two criteria of effectiveness: the extent to which they reduced felt stress at the same time point, and the extent to which they reduced role problems over time. Using unstructured interview problems, coping efforts and role distress were assessed in a population of 292 Chicago parents with children at home over 5 years of age. Major coping factors identified were: (1) attempts at discipline and punishment; (2) optimistic comparisons of one's situation relative to the past and peers; (3) attention to positive aspects of the situation; and (4) conscious restriction of feelings of parental responsibility and resignation to parental problems. Data analyses showed that only optimistic comparisons correlated with fewer problems and less distress. The pattern of findings pointed to the importance of family composition: those with smaller families and older children had fewer problems and were more apt to select effective coping strategies and reduce problems over time. The apparent spiral of problems and distress that these findings suggest highlights the need for research on more effective coping strategies for parents. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (Washington, DC, October 13-16, 1982).