ERIC Number: ED336203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
The Coping Strategies of Homeless Children and Adolescents.
Horowitz, Sandra V.
This study investigated the stresses confronting homeless adolescents and the coping strategies that enable stressed urban minority children to achieve in school. A total of 176 homeless children ranging in age from 9 to 14 years were interviewed, and 199 control subjects who were not homeless were surveyed. Academic achievement was determined from achievement test scores. Several instruments measured children's coping strategies and social relationships, especially the Adolescent Coping Inventory based on the adult scale created by Folkman and Lazarus (1986). The five coping strategies described in this paper are: (1) reappraising in a positive manner; (2) seeking social support; (3) distancing; (4) confronting; and (5) self-blaming. Results indicated that homeless children were more likely to focus on interpersonal conflicts and environmental stresses than were housed children. Homeless children used positive reappraisal more often for school problems than for other problems. Nonachievers reported more interpersonal conflicts than achievers. Compared to achievers, nonachievers were more likely to use positive reappraisal, distancing, and confronting, and were more likely to seek social support. Girls did not have lower levels of interpersonal conflict than boys. Girls used more confrontive coping strategies than boys did to deal with interpersonal difficulties. Youngsters with an external locus of control used more positive reappraisal and confronting strategies than did youngsters with an internal locus of control. A reference list of 19 items is provided. (BC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adolescents, Coping, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Emotional Response, Family Problems, Homeless People, Locus of Control, Lower Class Students, Minority Group Children, Mothers, Peer Relationship, Preadolescents, Problem Solving, Sex Differences, Stress Management
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Grant (W.T.) Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).