Profiles and correlates of children's self-reported coping strategies using a cluster analytic approach

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Cluster analysis, Competencies, Coping strategies, Externalizing, Internalizing


We used cluster analysis to identify children's coping profiles and to examine self- and parent-reported correlates of coping in a community sample. Participants included 135 children (M age = 11.27, s.d. = .59) recruited from local public elementary and junior high schools and 116 of their parents. Analyses included hierarchical cluster analysis (Ward's method), followed by non-hierarchical (k-means) cluster analysis to confirm the cluster solution. Results yielded four clusters reflecting high, active, low, and indiscriminant patterns of coping strategies. Members of the active coping group self-reported the fewest symptoms of distress and the greatest number of prosocial competencies after controlling for social desirability. No differences emerged for parent-reported psychosocial functioning across coping profiles. Our results suggest that a combination of active coping strategies may be associated with better psychosocial functioning than a combination of active and avoidant coping strategies.

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Steele, Ric G., Christopher C. Cushing, Jade A. Bender, and Margaret M. Richards. "Profiles and correlates of children’s self-reported coping strategies using a cluster analytic approach." Journal of Child and Family Studies 17, no. 1 (2008): 140-153.

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