Coping trajectories in emerging adulthood: The influence of temperament and gender

Tiffany Jenzer, Jennifer P. Read, Kristin Naragon-Gainey, Mark A. Prince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: The study of coping has far-reaching implications for understanding psychopathology and resilience, as well as for the treatment of psychological disorders. Developmental work has examined how the ability to cope changes across time in children and adolescents; however, work in emerging adulthood is still lacking. Coping is thought to emerge from basic biological and psychological processes, such as temperament and gender, which may influence the trajectory of coping use over time. Method: Using a sample of college students (N = 1,000), our 4-year longitudinal study with yearly assessments sought to (a) examine the trajectory of coping styles in emerging adulthood and to (b) examine the influence of temperament and gender on these coping trajectories. Results: Our findings suggest that young adults’ use of avoidance strategies decreased slightly over college, whereas the use of approach strategies and social support seeking remained stable. Temperament (BIS/BAS) and gender were related to certain coping styles at baseline and appeared to have an influence on some of these trajectories over time, though these associations were complex. Conclusions: This work may inform intervention research attempting to promote adaptive coping because it may help identify young adults most in need of such interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-619
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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