Problem Statement: Adolescence is a stage of major growth and development in terms of significant cognitive, behavioral, psychological, and physiological changes. For adolescents, these developmental changes could be accompanied by stressful situations. Adolescents need to cope with these stressors successfully, yet the developmental period of adolescence involves an increase in interpersonal conflicts and negative emotions. Cognitive distortions play significant roles in exacerbating distress levels and negative conflict behavior. Consequently, the main focus of this study is an investigation into interpersonal cognitive distortions on adolescents’ stress coping strategies.
Purpose of Study: The aim of this study was to examine stress coping strategies and the interpersonal cognitive distortions of late adolescents. The relations between interpersonal cognitive distortions and stress coping strategies of late adolescents were tested as well.
Methods:A total sample of 391 adolescents from public and private universities participated in this study. The descriptive statistical findings regarding the sub dimensions and t-test results indicating the difference between the means of males and females from “Interpersonal Cognitive Distortions” and “Stress coping Strategies with Stressful Experiences” scales were used. After this, findings related to interpersonal cognitive distortions and stress coping strategies were investigated by using path analysis in the research.
Findings and Results:Results revealed that adolescents use the strategies of problem solving and seeking social support more than the strategies of self-blame, imagination, and avoidance. Also, it was found that the strongest predictors of interpersonal rejection among stress coping strategies are avoidance, self-blame, and seeking social support. In the unrealistic relationship expectation dimension, it can be seen that seeking social support, imagination, and avoidance strategies explain with a moderate effect. The interpersonal misperception dimension can only be explained by the self-blame strategy as a small effect.
Conclusion and Recommendations: It was concluded that adolescents have a low level of interpersonal cognitive distortions and use problem solving and seeking social support strategies more than self-blame, imagination, and avoidance strategies. This means that adolescents use effective stress coping strategies and have low level interpersonal cognitive distortions. Another finding was that the strongest predictors of interpersonal rejection among stress coping strategies are avoidance, self-blame, and seeking social support. During the period of adolescence there are many stressful situations, such as future anxiety, career and occupation anxiety, romantic relationships, and the dimension change of relationships with family. Using effective stress coping strategies is important for overcoming stressful situations. Therefore, effective stress coping strategies should be taught to adolescents, especially for overcoming the stress they face in the period of adolescence.
Keywords: Interpersonal cognitive distortions, adolescent stress, coping strategies, late adolescents