Relationships Between Coping Strategies and Emotional Problems in Chronically ill Adolescents


  • A.M. Mihalca
  • W. Pilecka


Background: Current study examined the relationship between adolescents’ coping strategies and emotional problems across different types of chronic conditions (cancer, asthma, diabetes type I and chronic renal failure). Methods: One hundred-nineteen (65 boys, 54 girls) chronically ill adolescents aged between 12-16 years-old (M = 14.18; SD = 1.39) recruited from Polish hospitals filled in measures for coping strategies and anxiety and depression symptoms. Findings: Type of diseases had direct effect on coping strategies and emotional problems. Adolescents with cancer used significantly less self-blame, planning and putting into perspective than adolescents with other chronic diseases. Also, having cancer predicted significantly more anxiety than having asthma, respectively more depression than having diabetes. Among the coping strategies used, only planning mediated the relationship between type of disease and anxiety. Discussion: Findings suggest that a categorical approach is useful in understanding the coping strategies used by chronically ill adolescents. Still, the relationships between coping strategies and emotional problems are consistent across categories of disease.






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