Multidimensional coping styles and their association to adolescent substance use
Adolescent substance use is a serious public health concern with long-lasting consequences. Although specific coping behaviors have been associated with adolescent substance use, less is known about the role of multidimensional coping styles that account for both positive and negative coping behaviors. This study examined the association of coping styles and substance use (alcohol, marijuana, and other illicit drugs) of 1,019 ethnically diverse high school students. Coping styles were categorized by high or low negative coping behaviors (e.g. distraction, social withdrawal, self-criticism, blame others, wishful thinking, resignation, and negative emotional regulation) combined with high or low positive coping behaviors (e.g. cognitive restructuring, problem-solving, social support, and positive emotional regulation). Our hypothesis that high positive coping, regardless of high or low negative coping behaviors, would be protective against substance use was rejected. Logistic regression analyses controlling for age, gender, race, and parent education indicated that adolescents who were adaptive copers (i.e. high in positive coping and low in negative coping) were 45-67% less likely to report lifetime or past year substance use than any other coping style. However, mixed copers (i.e. high in both positive and negative coping behaviors) were 2 to 3 times as likely to report substance use than their adaptive coping counterparts. Therefore, behavioral interventions and programs would benefit from not only promoting positive coping behaviors but also to develop strategies to reduce the use of negative coping behaviors.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Differentiate coping styles and adolescent substance use outcomes.
Identify multidimensional coping styles which include varying degrees of both positive and negative coping behaviors.
Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Alcohol Use
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an investigator and coordinator on a longitudinal study of adolescent risk behaviors including substance use/abuse, risky sexual behavior, and other risk behaviors. My specific interests have included behavioral/social predictors of adolescent substance use and abuse.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.