Coping Strategies, Family Environment, and Interpersonal Fear: A Study of Congruence Between College Students and Their Parents

by Murphy, Caroline Elizabeth

Abstract (Summary)
The current study built upon work by Lohman and Jarvis (2000) by examining the relationships among coping, family environment, and the congruence between college students in their late adolescent years and their parents in reporting these dynamics in relation to the adolescents’ psychological health. Rather than using a general measure of psychological health, however, the current study examined the adolescents’ interpersonal fear, which has been established as a salient concern for individuals in this age range (Gullone, 2000; Ollendick & King, 1994). Students reported on their coping strategies, perceptions of family environment, interpersonal fear, and attachment to their parents and peers. Parents reported estimates of their child’s interpersonal fear and coping strategies, as well as on their own coping strategies and perceptions of their family environment. Numerous significant relationships exist among coping, family environment, fears, and attachment. Parent-student dyads were relatively congruent on their reports of the students’ coping strategies, their family environments, and the students’ interpersonal fear, but congruence between students’ and parents’ coping reports was significant only in predicting family cohesion. Students’ interpersonal fears were associated with increased use of avoidant coping, strong attachment to parents, and low family cohesion. Active coping strategies were related to high family cohesion and strong attachment to peers. It appears that college students in their late adolescence are strongly influenced by family and peer environments and their choice of active, rather than avoidant coping. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:coping family environment congruence interpersonal fear


Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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