Coping with anxiety, depression, anger and aggression : the mediational role of resilience in adolescents
Ang, Rebecca P.
Ho, Moon-Ho Ringo
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Background The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health urged that mental health services be transformed from a reactive approach of treatment to a proactive one of prevention and building resilience. In response, the present study delineates the role of resilience in reducing psychopathology. Objective The study examined the mediational role of resilience (positive thinking, tenacity and help-seeking), on the relationship between coping (approach and avoidance) and psychopathology (anxiety, depression, anger and aggression). Methods Adolescents (n = 719) aged 14–15 completed questionnaires assessing study variables in school settings. Results Mediation analysis using Structural Equation Modeling found that resilience factors mediated the approach coping–psychopathology relationship but not the avoidance coping–psychopathology relationship. Specifically, positive thinking mediated the approach coping–internalizing disorders (anxiety; depression) relationship; tenacity mediated the approach coping–aggression link; help-seeking mediated both the approach coping–internalizing disorders, and approach coping–externalizing behaviors (anger; aggression) links. Further, strength-of-mediation analysis revealed that help-seeking was a stronger mediator than positive thinking in the approach coping–anxiety relationship. Conclusion Approach coping works via resilience processes to bring about a decrease in internalizing (anxiety and depression) and externalizing (anger and aggression) conditions. Specific strategies to cope with these aforementioned conditions are: think positive for anxiety and depression; be tenacious when coping with aggression and seek help for anxiety, depression, anger and aggression. These findings lay the groundwork for resilience interventions.
Child & youth care forum