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Title:Coping with social stress in early adolescence: The interactive contribution of observed emotional climate and youth physiology
Author(s):Li, Xiaomei
Advisor(s):Tu, Kelly M.
Contributor(s):McElwain, Nancy L.
Department / Program:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Discipline:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):youth coping
emotional climate
maternal affect
dyadic cohesiveness
respiratory sinus arrhythmia
early adolescence
Abstract:Parental socialization of coping is suggested to assist the acquisition of coping strategies, especially during early adolescence when youth are experiencing increasing social challenges. Yet, less is known about whether characteristics of the relational context of parental socialization of coping also contribute to the development of coping. Additionally, contextual influences likely vary depending on youths’ parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) functioning which reflects their physiological responsiveness to environmental stimuli. The aforementioned gaps in the literature were addressed in the current two-wave longitudinal study of 100 mother-youth (53% boys, age 10-12) dyads. The relational context of parental socialization of coping was characterized by the emotional climate of the mother-youth dyad (i.e., maternal affect, dyadic cohesiveness) observed during a 5-min discussion task about youths’ peer problems. Youths’ PNS functioning was assessed via baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) collected during a resting task. Youths’ self-reported engaged coping and social advice-seeking (from parents) behaviors were collected at both waves of data collection. Results suggest that during mother-youth interactions: (1) higher levels of maternal positive affect and lower levels of maternal negativity predicted more engaged coping over time among all youth, (2) higher levels of maternal positive affect and dyadic cohesiveness predicted more social advice-seeking over time, especially for boys exhibiting higher levels of baseline RSA and girls exhibiting lower levels of baseline RSA, (3) higher levels of maternal negativity predicted less social advice-seeking over time for boys and girls exhibiting higher levels of baseline RSA but more social-advice seeking over time for boys exhibiting lower levels of baseline RSA. Findings highlight the role of a more positive and cohesive relational context in facilitating the development of coping during early adolescence and its differential effects on boys and girls characterized by different physiological profiles.
Issue Date:2019-04-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Xiaomei Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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