Adolescent coping: the different ways in which boys and girls cope Academic Article uri icon


  • In order to investigate the ways in which boys and girls cope with their concerns, 650 Year 11 and Year 12 students from seven post-primary schools in Melbourne, Australia were asked to describe how they cope with the main concerns in their lives. In addition to elicitation of spontaneous responses, a modified form of the Ways of Coping Checklist (Folkman and Lazarus, 1980; 1985b) was also administered to obtain an assessment of students coping strategies. Clear differences were found between the ways in which boys and girls cope. Girls seek more social support and generally are more likely than boys to focus on relationships. They also employ more strategies related to hoping for the best and wishful thinking. The question of how boys and girls can develop their coping repertoire so as to increase the adaptability of their responses in difficult situations is also addressed.

publication date

  • June 1991