Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Young people and their resources
    McKenzie, Vicki Lorraine ( 2001)
    This paper examines approaches taken to the study of stress and coping, with particular reference to adolescents. The Conservation of Resources model of stress and coping is considered and its companion research tool (the COR Evaluation) is modified for use with a group of Australian adolescents. The modified version is shown to be a reliable and valid tool for use with young people. Adolescents indicated that they value the resources described in the modified COR questionnaire. In addition, this sample of students saw themselves as having between some to a good amount of these resources, and would find it stressful to lose them. When the Resources scores were compared with the results of the Adolescent Coping Scale, it was found that those students who scored as productive copers were those students who reported themselves as high in resources, while those students who scored highly on non-productive coping were low in resources. When the scale relating to having resources was factored, it appeared that productive coping related strongly to the four resource factors of Purpose, Friends, Self-satisfaction, and Family; whereas non-productive coping was negatively correlated with Purpose, Self-satisfaction and Family, but not Friends. Non-productive copers did not see loss in any of the factors as stressful, and were not impacted particularly by gain. If young people who have resources cope more productively than those who do not regard themselves as having resources, there are interesting implications for treatment and education. Certainly it would be desirable to understand more completely the relationship between non-productive coping and resources so that more effective assistance can be given to those young people. The resources approach offers us a new perspective on stress and coping in adolescence, which has implications for treatment, educational development, and future research.