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SOCIALIZATION OF STRESS, COPING, AND ADJUSTMENT IN JAPAN




                        A Dissertation

                     ...
DISSERTATION COMMITTEE



          Kathryn E. Grant, Ph.D.

                Chairperson



       Ralph Erber, Ph.D. (Psy...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

        I express deep gratitude to Dr. Kathryn E. Grant (DePaul University) for sharing her ideas,

exp...
VITA

         Donald Francis Kilburg III was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois on January 15th, 1970. He was

graduated from Hom...
CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES.....................................................................................................
STRESS ......................................................................................................................
LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 1: Between-Subjects Factors (Analysis 1)            50

TABLE 2: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 1)...
TABLE 28: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 11)                   88

TABLE 29: Correlations (Analysis 11)                 ...
LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURE 1: Stress Intensity within Context as a Function of Sex of Child   55
(Analysis 1)

FIGURE 2: Stre...
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION

The Topic: Socialization of Stress, Coping, and Adjustment in Japan

        American folk psycho...
The Model: The Cognitive-Motivational-Relational Theory

        The dominant American model of stress and coping is the C...
1991). Primary appraisal involves the determination that an encounter is relevant to one's well being,

based on one’s bel...
aims to change the actual relationship between the individual and the enemy. Emotion-focused coping

would include “thinki...
in development, children try to change their internal and external environments. Over time, children's

coping repertoires...
Understanding children’s own perspectives is important. Many researchers have measured

children's stress by examining the...
adulthood (Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Frydenberg and Lewis, 1990).

        Coping tends to be depend on context...
Adjustment

        Social and problem-solving coping tends to be adaptive. As an ultimate goal, it is hoped that

stress ...
related findings have been generally consistent with what a layperson might predict. That is, children

who are actively e...
achievement, and school failure. Significant differences were found between sexes, but not between

grades. Girls actually...
thought you did something foolish.” Evidently, Japanese girls – like American girls (Miller, Danaher,

& Forbes, 1986) – a...
Coping

        Research on coping in Japan has begun. Japanese researcher Ohsako (1994) studied coping

effectiveness in ...
teachers/school environment, personality/body, and home). Moreover, their choice of coping

strategies was shown to be hig...
American subjects. In contrast, Kilburg (1997) found large increases in problem-focused coping

across age, in Japanese ch...
objective plights more than boys were. They were also found to report higher levels of self-critical,

responsibility-taki...
coping strategies more than girls do in only other types of stressful situations. Boys did report using

aggression (an av...
their own intent with respect to the definitions of “emotion/problem focused,” “approach/avoidance,”

or any other coping ...
and coping. Certainly the general finding of this study could be of use in hypothesis-formation for

future studies. That ...
that include “patience,” “avoidance,” and “trying to change my mood.”

          In terms of coping as a buffer of stress,...
1963). To be sure, father, sibling, peer, teacher, and other agents of socialization must be studied for a

full account o...
then chose one of several pictures of behavioral solutions to the conflicts. Lastly, the children listened

to short confl...
socialization of emotional adaptation. Firstly, it seems Japanese children are raised to have relatively

high expectation...
Coping. In terms of coping, there is great need in the literature to build a wider and deeper

base of understanding of Ja...
Maternal Socialization. Finally, a review of the stress and coping literature has also shown a

need for developmental res...
in certain ways as a function of situation, every coping act occurs within a unique moment-to-moment

context that undersc...
A two-fold purpose. Lastly, the ultimate purpose of this research as a whole was two-fold: 1)

to increase American unders...
7. Will there be any interactions between sex and age, sex and context, age and context, and/or
   between sex, age, and c...
CHAPTER II. METHOD

Research participants

        Participants were all native Japanese who have never lived outside of J...
mother questionnaires to be used for the analyses. Further, some of those 394 questionnaires and

some of the 597 child qu...
Each child and each mother completed one child and mother questionnaire packet,

respectively. These packets consisted of ...
where participants might be inadvertently primed to indicate stressfulness when it did not actually

exist.

         In o...
vain, because presumably asking the children about both frequency and intensity dimensions would

facilitate memory recall...
thoughts about personal appearance (health/fitness event).

        Reliability analysis (Cronbach’s Alpha) was conducted ...
Americans and three Japanese. The categorization of these items into PROBLEM-FOCUSED and

EMOTION-FOCUSED is in most cases...
2001 Socialization Of Stress, Coping, & Adjustment In Japan
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Kilburg, D.F. III (2001). Socialization of Stress, Coping, and Adjustment in Japan. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B: The Sciences & Engineering, 62(09), 4253-4470. Ph.D. Dissertation.

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Transcript of "2001 Socialization Of Stress, Coping, & Adjustment In Japan"

  1. 1. SOCIALIZATION OF STRESS, COPING, AND ADJUSTMENT IN JAPAN A Dissertation Presented to The Department of Psychology DePaul University BY DONALD FRANCIS KILBURG III JUNE, 2001
  2. 2. DISSERTATION COMMITTEE Kathryn E. Grant, Ph.D. Chairperson Ralph Erber, Ph.D. (Psychology) Fred Heilizer, Ph.D. (Psychology) Nobuko Chikamatsu, Ph.D. (Modern Languages) Roger Graves, Ph.D. (English) 2
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I express deep gratitude to Dr. Kathryn E. Grant (DePaul University) for sharing her ideas, expertise and guidance throughout this research project, and to Dr. Linda A. Camras (DePaul University) for her crucial help in the early stages of this research. I am also grateful to Dr. Paul E. Jose (Victoria University, New Zealand) for providing the original measures of this research, as well as invaluable direction and guidance. Sincere thanks go to Dr. Kazuo Nishikawa (Mie University, Japan) for his careful assistance with theoretical considerations, translation, and administration. I am also thankful to Shouko Murakami, Kazuyo Fujii, Makiko Hamamoto, and Yuusuke Matsuura (Mie University, Japan) for help in data collection and entry. Furthermore, I express great appreciation to the administrators of the schools of Japan where data were collected: Fuzoku Elementary, Fuzoku Junior High, Kyohoku Junior High, and Tsu Higashi High. For providing useful commentary and advice, many thanks go to my dissertation committee members as well: Dr. Ralph Erber (Psychology Department), Dr. Fred Heilizer (Psychology Department), Dr. Nobuko Chikamatsu (Modern Languages Department), Dr. Roger Graves (English Department) [DePaul University]. Additionally, I thank the Japanese children and parents who participated in this study. Without them, this research would not have been possible. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, Donald and Patricia, for all their love and support throughout graduate school. 3
  4. 4. VITA Donald Francis Kilburg III was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois on January 15th, 1970. He was graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois in 1988. In 1993, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana in Champaign, Illinois. In 1997, he received his Master of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. In that same year, he was awarded the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho) Fellowship for Predoctoral Study in Psychology. In June 2001, Mr. Kilburg will receive his Doctorate in Experimental Psychology from DePaul University. In the Fall of 2001, he hopes to begin postdoctoral study to expand his dissertation work at the professional level. Kilburg, Donald F., III & Nishikawa, Kazuo (2001). Stress and Coping in Japanese Middle Childhood. The Bulletin of the Faculty of Education, Mie University (Educational Science), Vol. 52 (in Japanese). Kilburg, D.F. III (1997). Stress and Coping in Japanese Middle Childhood. M.A. Thesis. Tracy, R. J., Pabis, M., & Kilburg, D. (1997-98). The effect of schematic context on mental imagery. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 17(3), pp. 191-214. For further information contact the author at: dkilburg@condor.depaul.edu http://www.depaul.edu/~dkilburg 4
  5. 5. CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES.......................................................................................................................................... 7 LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................................................ 9 CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................... 10 THE TOPIC: SOCIALIZATION OF STRESS, COPING, AND ADJUSTMENT IN JAPAN................................. 10 THE MODEL: THE COGNITIVE-MOTIVATIONAL-RELATIONAL THEORY .............................................. 11 Stress, Appraisal, and Coping: Definitions ........................................................................................ 11 Problem-focused and Emotion-focused Coping ................................................................................. 12 RESEARCH ON AMERICAN CHILDREN’S STRESS AND COPING.............................................................. 13 Stress ..................................................................................................................................................... 14 Coping ................................................................................................................................................... 15 Adjustment ............................................................................................................................................ 17 RESEARCH ON JAPANESE CHILDREN’S STRESS AND COPING ............................................................... 18 Stress ..................................................................................................................................................... 18 Coping ................................................................................................................................................... 21 Adjustment ............................................................................................................................................ 26 THE LINK BETWEEN MATERNAL SOCIALIZATION AND CHILDREN’S STRESS AND COPING: U.S. AND JAPAN ........................................................................................................................................................ 28 RATIONALE ............................................................................................................................................... 31 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES ............................................................................................. 35 Stress ..................................................................................................................................................... 35 Coping ................................................................................................................................................... 35 Adjustment: School Performance and Life Satisfaction .................................................................... 36 Maternal Socialization: Discouragement/Encouragement of Coping .............................................. 36 CHAPTER II. METHOD ........................................................................................................................ 37 RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS........................................................................................................................ 37 MATERIALS............................................................................................................................................... 38 Age, Sex, Grade .................................................................................................................................... 39 Stress ..................................................................................................................................................... 39 Coping ................................................................................................................................................... 41 School Performance ............................................................................................................................. 44 Life Satisfaction .................................................................................................................................... 45 Maternal Socialization: Discouragement/Encouragement of Coping .............................................. 45 DESIGN ...................................................................................................................................................... 46 PROCEDURE .............................................................................................................................................. 46 CHAPTER III. RESULTS ...................................................................................................................... 49 STRESS ...................................................................................................................................................... 49 COPING...................................................................................................................................................... 57 ADJUSTMENT: SCHOOL PERFORMANCE AND LIFE SATISFACTION ....................................................... 65 MATERNAL SOCIALIZATION: DISCOURAGEMENT/ENCOURAGEMENT OF COPING .............................. 67 EXPLORATORY COPING FACTORS ........................................................................................................... 75 ANALYSES OF THE EXPLORATORY COPING FACTORS ........................................................................... 78 CHAPTER IV. DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................ 96 OVERVIEW OF HYPOTHESIS TEST OUTCOMES ....................................................................................... 97 5
  6. 6. STRESS ...................................................................................................................................................... 98 COPING.................................................................................................................................................... 100 ADJUSTMENT .......................................................................................................................................... 104 MATERNAL SOCIALIZATION: DISCOURAGEMENT/ENCOURAGEMENT OF COPING ............................ 105 EXPLORATORY COPING FACTORS ......................................................................................................... 109 ANALYSES OF THE EXPLORATORY COPING FACTORS ......................................................................... 111 LIMITATIONS OF THIS RESEARCH.......................................................................................................... 115 GENERAL IMPLICATIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR FUTURE STUDY....................................................... 117 CHAPTER V. SUMMARY ................................................................................................................... 122 REFERENCES......................................................................................................................................... 123 APPENDIX A. CODING KEYS................................................................................................................ 131 APPENDIX B. FORMS ............................................................................................................................. 136 APPENDIX C. CHILD QUESTIONNAIRES........................................................................................... 145 APPENDIX D. MOTHER QUESTIONNAIRES ...................................................................................... 163 APPENDIX E. JAPANESE VERSIONS OF QUESTIONNAIRES ......................................................... 177 6
  7. 7. LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1: Between-Subjects Factors (Analysis 1) 50 TABLE 2: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 1) 51 TABLE 3: Multivariate Tests (Analysis 1) 52 TABLE 4: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects (Analysis 1) 53 TABLE 5: Multiple Comparisons (Analysis 1) 54 TABLE 6: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 2) 58 TABLE 7: Multivariate Tests (Analysis 2) 59 TABLE 8: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects (Analysis 2) 59 TABLE 9: Multiple Comparisons (Analysis 2) 60 TABLE 10: Group Statistics (Analysis 3) 63 TABLE 11: Independent Samples Test (Analysis 3) 64 TABLE 12: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 4) 65 TABLE 13: Correlations (Analysis 4) 66 TABLE 14: Between-Subjects Factors (Analysis 5) 68 TABLE 15: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 5) 69 TABLE 16: Multivariate Tests (Analysis 5) 70 TABLE 17: Multiple Comparisons (Analysis 5) 70 TABLE 18: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 6) 73 TABLE 19: Correlations (Analysis 6) 74 TABLE 20: Preliminary Factor Analysis of Maternal 76 Discouragement/Encouragement Coping (Analysis 7) TABLE 21: Total Variance Explained (Analysis 7) 76 TABLE 22: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 8) 80 TABLE 23: Multivariate Tests (Analysis 8) 81 TABLE 24: Correlations (Analysis 9) 83 TABLE 25: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 10) 85 TABLE 26: Multivariate Tests (Analysis 10) 86 TABLE 27: Multiple Comparisons (Analysis 10) 86 7
  8. 8. TABLE 28: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 11) 88 TABLE 29: Correlations (Analysis 11) 89 TABLE 30: Total Variance Explained (Analysis 12) 91 TABLE 31: Items with factor loadings of at least .60, from the 92 preceding 3-Factor solution (Analysis 12) TABLE 32: Descriptive Statistics (Analysis 13) 95 TABLE 33: Correlations (Analysis 13) 95 8
  9. 9. LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1: Stress Intensity within Context as a Function of Sex of Child 55 (Analysis 1) FIGURE 2: Stress Intensity by Context as a Function of Grade of Child 56 (Analysis 1) FIGURE 3: Coping Type as a Function of Sex of Child 61 (Analysis 2) FIGURE 4: Coping Type as a Function of Grade of Child (Analysis 2) 62 FIGURE 5: Social Support Seeking (EF & PF) as a Function of Sex 64 (Analysis 3) FIGURE 6: Maternal Discouragement and Encouragement of Coping as a 71 Function of Grade of Child (Analysis 5) FIGURE 7: Coping Type (Exploratory) as a Function of Sex of Child 81 (Analysis 8) FIGURE 8: Maternal Discouragement and Encouragement of Coping 87 (Exploratory) as a Function of Grade of Child (Analysis 10) 9
  10. 10. CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION The Topic: Socialization of Stress, Coping, and Adjustment in Japan American folk psychological notions of emotional adaptation have long held that what constitutes a stressful event depends upon whether one “looks at the bright side.” In the past several decades, experimental psychology has indeed found that stress can have major health and adjustment consequences for some people and yet minor ones for others (Kessler, 1997; Lazarus, 1990, 1991; La Greca, Siegal, Wallander, & Walker, 1992). What is crucial is not only how one looks at one’s stress, but how one copes with it. Researchers have found that coping behavior can ameliorate the experience of stress consequences. In doing so it can modify the mere relationship one has with one’s surroundings, as well as the actual surroundings themselves – not to mention, one’s body and one’s very sense of self (Aldwin, 1994; Lazarus, 1991). American researchers of emotional adaptation are now engaged in taking the stress-coping-adjustment socialization patterns they have found in America and transporting and testing them in other cultures – to see how well they generalize. Research involving Japanese participants who have never lived outside of Japan is a uniquely exciting prospect. The Japanese say kaikatsu wa kenkou ni saku hana da (roughly, “cheerfulness is the very flower of health”). This would indicate that they have their own folk psychological notions about emotional adaptation, and “looking at the bright side”. With a 2,000-year-plus history, one might expect as much. What is remarkable is that most of this history was spent in isolation from other peoples. As a result, the Japanese are one of the most genealogically distinct and culturally homogenous populations in the world. The Japanese population of 125 million people constitutes the only non-Western nation that has attained economic development on par with that of the United States. In fact, Japan has the second largest economy in the world. Interestingly, economic development in Japan has taken place without compromising much of the country’s original traditions and values (Hendry, 1998; McCargo, 2000; Beasley, 1990). American psychologists are therefore becoming increasingly interested in understanding potentially unique patterns of Japanese emotional adaptation, which presumably underlie Japan’s unique cultural and historical path. 10
  11. 11. The Model: The Cognitive-Motivational-Relational Theory The dominant American model of stress and coping is the Cognitive-motivational-relational theory, by Richard S. Lazarus (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984; Lazarus, 1991). This transactionist model states that the stress-coping relationship is one of process. Its emphasis is on the interdependence of variables changing through time. In this formulation, cognitive interpretation and personal motivation play a major role – hence the name, Cognitive-motivational-relational theory. Inclusion of the term “relational” serves to underscore the importance of a new level of theoretical analysis, called “relational meaning.” Relational meaning refers to that which incorporates an individual’s unique experience within a given stress-coping encounter, taking into account the individual’s beliefs and goals about that encounter. In other words, the stress-coping process must not only be considered in terms of context (e.g. “school” or “peer relations”), but also in terms of the individual’s experience and interpretation of the particulars of the given encounter within the given context. Stress, Appraisal, and Coping: Definitions According to Lazarus (1991), stress cannot be clearly defined without reference to one’s perception. He explains: “the analogy to load, stress, and strain in engineering, like the activation or drive model in psychophysiology, failed, because psychological stress and emotion cannot be adequately defined without reference to an individual's motivation and the way that individual defines and evaluates relationships with the environment” (1991, p. 10). Lazarus’ Cognitive-motivational- relational theory therefore addresses the definition of stress by way of “appraisal.” Appraisal is essentially cognitive evaluation or interpretation of one’s experience. According to Lazarus and Folkman (1984), “Psychological stress involves a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well being” (p. 19). “Primary appraisal” and “secondary appraisal” govern the experience of stress (Lazarus, 11
  12. 12. 1991). Primary appraisal involves the determination that an encounter is relevant to one's well being, based on one’s beliefs and goals. Secondary appraisal involves the determination of coping options – that is, “whether any given action might prevent harm, ameliorate it, or produce additional harm or benefit” (Lazarus, 1991, p. 133). Coping itself is defined by Lazarus (1991) as consisting of “cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external or internal demands (and conflicts between them) that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person” (p. 112). Appraisal is involved in a feedback process with coping. Appraisal initiates coping, which in turn initiates reappraisal. Appraisal and coping are therefore sometimes difficult to distinguish. For simplicity, the appraisal-coping process can be conceptualized as a serial one (e.g., an employee may appraise an upcoming performance evaluation as consequential to his/her well-being, leading him/her to employ a problem-solving strategy). However, it is actually a parallel, transactional one – because appraisal and coping reflect joint involvement of ongoing interaction between person and environment variables (e.g., in the preceding case, the boss may meanwhile notice the employee taking the upcoming evaluation seriously and therefore decide to reduce the stringency of the evaluation – as a result of this joint involvement, the employee may ultimately begin to see him/herself as the kind of person who need not fear evaluations). Coping itself is further delineated in Lazarus’ framework, as discussed in the following section. Problem-focused and Emotion-focused Coping Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have identified “problem-focused coping” and “emotion-focused coping” as conceptually distinct kinds of coping. The former is action-centered and aimed at changing the objective reality of the person-environment relationship. The latter is cognition-centered and aimed at changing one’s subjective experience of the person-environment relationship. To illustrate the problem/emotion-focused coping distinction, Lazarus provides the example of facing off with an enemy. In the context of the child’s world, the “enemy” might be a bully on the playground. Problem-focused coping would include display of aggression to ward off the enemy. It 12
  13. 13. aims to change the actual relationship between the individual and the enemy. Emotion-focused coping would include “thinking positive” in the face of the enemy. It aims to change one’s subjective experience of the enemy. In practice, any coping that changes one’s objective reality, by way of problem-focused coping, likely results in some degree of change in one’s subjective experience. Conversely, any coping that changes one’s subjective experience, by way of emotion-focused coping, likely results in some degree of change in one’s objective reality. Moreover, coping may have the appearance of being emotion-focused when it is actually problem-focused, or vice versa. Consider a crying child. He or she may be crying simply as a means of “releasing” emotion – in order to feel better. Conversely, he or she may be crying as a means of attracting the attention of others – in order to fix his or her problem, and subsequently feel better. Additionally, sometimes one coping strategy is intended to simultaneously serve both problem and emotion-focused purposes. For example, one may choose to ignore a problem and by not thinking about it feel better (emotion-focused coping). At the same time, one may choose to ignore the problem in order to convey to others that one is not concerned with it, such that others’ confidence will either increase or decrease, depending on the goal (problem-focused coping). In regards to gaining self-confidence and increasing the confidence of others, consider a military commander who denies the intensity of a mission in order to increase his own morale and that of his troops, in the face of an impending threat that would otherwise be psychologically insurmountable. In regards to gaining self-confidence and decreasing the confidence of others, consider a victim of bullying who ignores derision in order to increase his self-esteem and to demonstrate to the bullies that he or she is unaffected. Research on American Children’s Stress and Coping Developmental studies of stress and coping provide a means of understanding stress and coping as a process. They have blossomed in the past 10 years. Psychologists have learned that early 13
  14. 14. in development, children try to change their internal and external environments. Over time, children's coping repertoires increase and shift from problem-focused to emotion-focused in nature. The review here will include basic findings in the middle childhood literature. Numerous studies have looked at other periods of development. For extensive reviews see Ayers, Sandler, & Twohey (1998), La Greca, Siegal, Wallander, & Walker (1992), and Aldwin (1994). The purpose of this section is to provide a context with which to consider Japanese stress and coping in the next section. Stress Everyday life events are particularly important. One of the first attempts to investigate children's stress produced a widely used stress-measuring instrument for children by modifying adult scales (Coddington, 1972). This instrument advanced the field, but neglected to sufficiently consider the child's unique perspective. Since then, many studies have correlated children's major life events with illness or maladaptation (e.g., Hudgens, 1974; Boyce, Jensen, Cassell, Collier, Smith, & Ramey, 1977). Masten (1985) noted, however, that these correlations were quite low. Sorenson (1993) added that it was often unclear to what extent such major life events were the antecedents or the consequences of the correlated illness and maladjustment. This led researchers to focus more on everyday life events. Everyday life events have been shown to be much more strongly associated with children's mental and physical health than major life events have been (Sorenson, 1993, p. 52). For example, Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer, and Lazarus (1981) demonstrated that hassles such as quibbles with peers and getting poor school marks were generally associated with poor outcomes such as depression, low social competence, and low self-worth. Measurement of these kinds of mundane stressors is therefore paramount in stress research with children. Once the task of fully delineating everyday life event stress has been more clearly accomplished, everyday and major life event measures might be better integrated by researchers (Sorenson, 1993, p. 54). 14
  15. 15. Understanding children’s own perspectives is important. Many researchers have measured children's stress by examining their ranked appraisal of events – i.e., their perceptions of the stressfulness of events relative to other events (e.g., Yamamoto & Davis, 1979; Brown and Cowen, 1988; Ryan, 1988). These rankings have tended to stray somewhat from adult preconceptions (Sorenson, 1993, p. 54). The importance of ascertaining the unique perspectives of children has therefore become evident. Of course the usefulness of this approach will depend in part upon whether children are truly able to retrospectively compare degrees of multiple stressors. Coping Emotion-focused coping tends to increase across age. Band and Weisz (1988) pioneered the application of Lazarus’ problem and emotion-focused categories (Folkman & Lazarus, 1984, 1988) to well children of middle childhood. Their research demonstrated that in the face of a variety of everyday stressors, children would seldom relinquish control, preferring instead to employ at least some type of coping. However, as age increased, self-reports of problem-focused coping did not necessarily increase, whereas self-reports of emotion-focused coping typically did increase. The main interpretation of this data was that emotion-focused coping may develop more slowly than problem- focused coping, “in part because it is hidden from view and thus more difficult to learn from observation” (Band and Weisz, 1988). Similar conclusions were reached by Altshuler and Ruble (1989) and Compas, Worsham, and Ey (1992), who pointed out that younger children may not be able to generate as many secondary appraisal options as older children. Younger children may not be as aware that internal states can be manipulated. Furthermore, they may simply be less autonomous. Social support seeking tends to increase across age. Other age differences have been found in use of social support as a coping strategy. Older children tend to seek more social support outside their immediate family than do younger children (Bryant, 1985). Interestingly, this is also tied to sex differences. Girls begin to seek social support earlier than do boys. They then utilize such support more than do boys, throughout middle childhood. This trend has been demonstrated to continue into 15
  16. 16. adulthood (Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Frydenberg and Lewis, 1990). Coping tends to be depend on context. Since the early studies above, context-dependence of coping has come to the forefront of the research on children’s stress and coping. It has been found that with school problems, children tend to use “cognitive restructuring” and “self-criticism.” Conversely, with sibling and peer relations problems, children tend to prefer coping that involves blaming others (Spirito, Stark, Grace, & Stamoulis, 1991). However, due to lack of information about subjects’ cognitive interpretation and motivation within specific scenarios of the problem contexts, it is not always easy to tell which coping strategies are mostly emotion-focused and which are mostly problem- focused. For this reason, these kinds of context effects will likely be scrutinized and conditioned on other factors (e.g., the details of the given scenario, the child’s perception of his or her options, the child’s intent, and so on) as researchers strive to flesh out the specific relational meanings necessitated by transactionist models of coping (e.g., Lazarus, 1991). To illustrate, consider a child facing a bully on the playground. The scenario could be considered a “peer relations” context. The researcher might go about drawing conclusions about the kinds of coping children tend to use in this context. However, unless such conclusions consider the details of the coping context (e.g., the unique issues of the given scenario, the child’s perception of his or her options, the child’s intent, and so on), they will likely over-generalize at the risk of excluding more important considerations. For instance, when children are said to tend to use “blaming” in peer relations problems, it may be the case that they do not use “blaming” in those problems per se – rather they may use blaming whenever they feel the problem is not their fault, they see no other option, they think it will fix the problem, etcetera. At the least, statements about coping tendencies in given contexts should attempt to consider whether children employed certain coping strategies in order to fix the problem or simply to feel better. In short, relational meanings such as these might be much more important than simply characterizing children’s coping behaviors across a given context. The dynamics of problems in contexts can very greatly, in spite of the superficial features that allow researchers to lump them into given contexts. 16
  17. 17. Adjustment Social and problem-solving coping tends to be adaptive. As an ultimate goal, it is hoped that stress and coping processes can be better linked with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes or indicators of adaptation. Accordingly, various attempts at measuring adjustment have been made. For example, Causey and Dubow (1992) examined schoolwork and peer relations, in a study of 4th to 6th graders. They found that “social support seeking” and “problem solving” were positively correlated with favorable characteristics, such as high “self-worth” and “behavioral esteem.” In contrast, “distancing” and “externalizing” were negatively correlated with these characteristics, as well as with grade point averages. Active, flexible coping tends to be adaptive. In a related study, Ayers, Sandler, West, and Roosa, (1996) examined what children 9 to 13 years old do to solve problems or to feel better about them. They found that coping which avoids problems tends to be associated with depression and poor conduct. They also found that “active” coping (similar to “approach” coping) negatively relates to depression and positively relates to self-esteem. “Active” coping included both problem-focused and emotion-focused strategies, so long as the child focused on the stressful event, either to change the situation or to think about it in a positive way. Hence, the skillful use of problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies in dealing with a problem is perhaps most at issue and not the mere use of strategies that qualify as such per se. Lastly, Kurtz (1994) attempted to integrate caregiver reports of coping and adjustment. Examining 8 to 12 year-old children, coping was divided into three dimensions: “productive,” “active,” and “flexible.” Productive coping was characterized by goal-orientation. Active coping was characterized by focusing on the particular problem. Flexible coping was characterized by a willingness to change one’s behavior. Not surprisingly, Kurtz found that children who used less productive and less active coping tended to be from disrupted homes. Disrupted homes were those with problems such as parental separation, divorce, alcoholism, and so forth. Further, high coping rigidity (i.e. low flexibility) was noted as being a contributor to maladjustment. In sum, adjustment- 17
  18. 18. related findings have been generally consistent with what a layperson might predict. That is, children who are actively engaged in their environments and diligent about this engagement tend not to have deficits in measures of well being (Ayers, Sandler, & Twohey, 1998). Research on Japanese Children’s Stress and Coping Stress Research on everyday life events in Japan has begun. Yamamoto and Davis (1979) carried out one of the earliest systematic studies of Japanese children’s stress. They studied the stressful experiences of over 600 Japanese and American children from grade 4 through 6. A 20-event rating scale was employed that included everyday life events and major life events. Events were rated in terms of how unpleasant they might be on a scale of 1 (“least upsetting”) to 7 (“most upsetting”). Children also indicated whether they had actually experienced the events. Japanese have been found to be similar to Americans in many ways, but sufficient data is lacking. In both the Japanese and American samples of Yamamoto and Davis (1979), children in higher grades reported significantly more stress. Significant sex differences were only detected for the Japanese children. Boys reported more stress than girls did. Yamamoto and Davis concluded that the similarity between the two cultures' perceptions were considerable. They speculated that school children in metropolitan areas in industrialized nations may have much in common, in spite of distinct cultural backgrounds. Sex differences in the Japanese participants were theorized to be the result of long-standing cultural enthusiasm for boys’ education in particular. Yamamoto and Davis also argued that differing expectations about the sexes may carry into youth and contribute to the disproportionately high percentage of males in institutions of higher education. Unfortunately, there is some inconsistency in the literature. Nagane (1991) developed an everyday life event, school stress scale for 239 Japanese elementary school students of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. Factor analysis revealed four domains: peer relations, class presentations, school 18
  19. 19. achievement, and school failure. Significant differences were found between sexes, but not between grades. Girls actually reported more stress in school achievement than boys did. It is not clear why, but perhaps they become conscientious about schoolwork earlier than do boys. Additional work needs to be done to clarify this issue. Contemporary findings show age differences depend on context. Building a foundation for the present proposal, Kilburg (1997) analyzed Japanese, upper-grade elementary school children’s stress in four contexts (education, health/fitness, family/home life, and peer relations) as a function of sex and age. For major life events, older children reported significantly more education stress than younger children did. Stress items related to this finding included: “you got in trouble for doing something bad at school,” “you failed to make an athletic team or play in a game,” and “you got a bad grade on your report card.” The Kilburg study thereby extended the Yamamoto and Davis (1979) finding that older children reported experiencing more stress than younger children did for education- related items. However, considering that the Kilburg measure was much more comprehensive (80 items versus 20 in Yamamoto and Davis), it would seem that younger Japanese children are not under less stress in all domains relative to their older counterparts – because for health/fitness, family/home life, and peer relations, age differences were not significant. Contemporary findings show that sex differences appear to depend on context. In terms of sex differences, Kilburg (1997) reported that girls had experienced just as many stressful events as boys, at a mean intensity of no significant difference. The main stress analyses actually demonstrated girls to report significantly greater stress for the contexts of health/fitness and peer relations. The health/fitness context included many physical wellness and body image items such as: “you thought about the way you look,” “you thought about your weight,” and “you were ill.” As is generally found in American girls (Attie and Brooks-Gunn, 1989; Adler, Kless, Adler, 1992), it seems that Japanese girls may be under a considerable amount of pressure to meet perceived standards of physical appearance, relative to their male counterparts. In terms of peer relations, items included: “you thought about what your classmates thought of you,” “kids teased or avoided you,” and “people 19
  20. 20. thought you did something foolish.” Evidently, Japanese girls – like American girls (Miller, Danaher, & Forbes, 1986) – are relatively more preoccupied with avoiding falling into ill regard with their peers than are boys. Possibly girls report greater concern with pleasing their peers due to a greater reliance on social support. This interpretation would appear to be consistent with the reliable finding that girls are much more engaged in maintaining a multitude of harmonious social relations than are boys (Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Frydenberg and Lewis, 1990; Jose & Hunsinger, 1997). In summary of Kilburg (1997), there was no evidence of any kind that boys experienced more stress than girls did. It is possible that the education of girls may have become a higher priority in Japan than it was when Yamamoto and Davis (1979) conducted their study. The overriding opinion in Japan does still seem to be that men should receive four-year university degrees to prepare them for professions, whereas women should attend junior colleges and vocational schools to prepare them for motherhood (White, 1996). However, one might speculate that a well-educated wife has become more desirable in post-industrial Japan, increasing the value Japanese society places on girls’ education. In any case, the Kilburg (1997) findings underscore the importance of considering multiple stressors within various contexts. By junior high school, age and sex differences tend to increase. Japanese researchers Okayasu, Shimada, Niwa, Mori, & Yatomi (1992) also developed an everyday life event, school stress scale – for 552 Japanese junior high students to measure stressors and stress responses. Factor analysis yielded six school domains: peer, club, study, teacher, rule, and “official activity.” Multiple regression analyses showed a strong relationship between stress in the peer domain and “depression- anxiety,” as well as between stress in the study domain and “cognitive helplessness.” In most cases, stress tended to increase across age, especially for study-related items. In terms of gender differences, girls reported more stress for study-related items, as well as for teacher-related items. These findings would appear to corroborate other findings that girls are under at least as much education stress as boys in Japan. Yet the literature clearly needs to be updated as a lot can change in a society in a decade. 20
  21. 21. Coping Research on coping in Japan has begun. Japanese researcher Ohsako (1994) studied coping effectiveness in 151 Japanese high school students (10th grade) using a translated version of the Ways of Coping Checklist (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980) and an original Japanese state-trait anxiety inventory. This study appears to be the first Japanese attempt at linking Japanese children’s coping research to the wider American coping literature. Appraisal and stress were also examined. No attempt to analyze sex or age differences was reported. Further, no attempt to consider socialization and coping was made – a connection surprisingly lacking in the Japanese coping literature and one the current study aims to address. Subjects were first asked to appraise how “hard” (from -3 to 0) or how “easy” (from 0 to +3) each of five domains of life are (“schoolwork,” “friends/sweet-hearts,” “teachers/school environment,” “personality/body,” and “home.”) They were then asked how much they generally use particular coping strategies within the 5 domains. For the coping strategies they used in each of these domains, subjects gave their opinions about whether such strategies are the “right” way to cope with such kinds of events. Finally, they completed the state-trait anxiety inventory as a measure of their stress response (an adjustment measure). Appraisal and stress response tend to be linked. Appraisal scores were shown to be correlated with stress response. That is, subjects who indicated a domain was very “hard,” tended to also indicate experiencing high stress response, as measured by the state-trait anxiety inventory. This would indicate that separating appraisal from stress response is a difficult research endeavor (indeed, the transactionalist approach espoused in this paper argues that appraisal is part and parcel of the very definition of stress and by extension adjustment). Surprisingly, however, appraisal scores for the “teacher/school environment” domain were not correlated with stress response. A possible reason for this exception is discussed below, where Ohsako’s speculations are reported. Coping tends to depend on context. In terms of coping, Ohsako’s results indicated that the students used a wide variety of strategies across the five domains (schoolwork, friends/lovers, 21
  22. 22. teachers/school environment, personality/body, and home). Moreover, their choice of coping strategies was shown to be highly dependent upon domain. For schoolwork stressors, students tended to use problem-focused strategies of “information-seeking” and “resource-seeking.” They also tended to use “social support” strategies of “asking for help” and “seeking sympathy.” For friend/lover stressors, they tended to use “information-seeking” and “resource-seeking.” With teachers/school environment stressors, they tended to shift to emotion-focused strategies. These included “patience,” “avoidance,” “not thinking,” “trying to change my mood,” and “giving up.” For personality/body stressors, no clear preference of coping strategies was detected. For family stressors, a distinct preference for “emotion-focused” strategies emerged. American study of Japanese coping has begun. The previously mentioned Kilburg (1997) study explored Japanese, upper-grade elementary school children’s coping by transporting several existing instruments from American research (Jose, 1994, 1997). This was the first attempt by an American researcher to examine Japanese children’s coping. It considered coping in four categories outlined by Jose (1994, 1997): approach/emotion-focused, approach/problem-focused, avoidance/emotion-focused, and avoidance/problem-focused. Coping items in these categories were all assessed by subjects exclusively in response to the peer relations scenario of: “kids teased or avoided you.” Age differences in emotion-focused coping have not been found. In reviewing previous literature, this proposal has noted that in studies of American subjects, older children have been found to utilize a wider variety of coping strategies than younger children have been (e.g., Band and Weisz, 1988; Altshuler and Ruble, 1989). In particular, older children have been found to utilize more emotion-focused coping. However, surprisingly no significant age differences were detected by Kilburg (1997) with either of the two types of emotion-focused coping strategies measured (approach and avoidance). Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed below. Large increases in problem-focused coping have been found across age. In terms of problem- focused coping, as was noted previously, modest increases have typically been found across age, in 22
  23. 23. American subjects. In contrast, Kilburg (1997) found large increases in problem-focused coping across age, in Japanese children. This included both approach and avoidance kinds of problem- focused coping. Avoidance/problem-focused coping items include (according to Jose, 1994, 1997): “I did something like watched TV, listened to music, or played sports or a game so that I didn’t have to think about the problem for awhile,” “I didn’t do anything about the problem,” and “I blamed someone else, lied, gave excuses, or cheated.” Approach/problem-focused coping items include (again, according to Jose 1994, 1997): “I tried to get more information about the problem,” “I thought about all the things I could do to make the situation better,” and “I tried to solve the problem.” The sharpest increase in problem-focused coping was observed for the approach/problem- focused strategies. These involve information seeking, problem solving, and option generating. Kilburg noted that such techniques would seem to be effective in dealing with being teased/avoided. Kilburg concluded that it is therefore not surprising that approach/problem-focused coping increased with age while emotion-focused coping did not. Presumably this means that older children are more proficient than their younger counterparts at resolving the “teased/avoided” event. That this finding contrasts somewhat with American findings may simply be a function of the specificity of the coping scenario in Kilburg (1997). Findings of sex differences have persisted. Independent of age, the Kilburg (1997) data suggest there are significant sex differences in Japanese children’s reports of coping strategy use that are roughly consistent with findings for American children. In main analyses, girls were found to report significantly greater use of approach/problem-focused coping than boys were. In ancillary item-specific analyses, girls were also found to report significantly greater use of three selected coping strategies: emotional social support, instrumental social support, and self-blame. American girls have been found to seek more social support than American boys do, in the face of stress (Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Frydenberg & Lewis, 1990; Jose & Hunsinger, 1997). Kilburg noted general agreement between this finding and those of his social-support-related coping items. Girls were observed to report seeking help from others to improve their subjective and 23
  24. 24. objective plights more than boys were. They were also found to report higher levels of self-critical, responsibility-taking coping than boys were. Kilburg argued that there are several possible reasons why girls appeared to be more prone to self-blame than boys in the tease/avoid scenario. As previously argued, girls and boys are held to different sets of social norms for politeness. Thus girls may be more inclined than boys to apologize when there is peer discord. In addition, if self-blame is a mature means of conflict resolution in Japanese culture (Minami, 1987), girls may simply develop faster than boys do with respect to this strategy. Girls tend to use more approach strategies than boys. Overall, girls in Kilburg (1997) used more approach strategies than did boys. As previously stated, girls were found to report significantly greater use of approach/problem-focused coping than boys. Further, girls’ use of approach/emotion- focused coping exceeded that of boys (approaching significance at p=.08). Whether this is due to chance alone would need to be further examined. In any case, instrumental social support is included in the approach/problem-focused category and emotional social support is included in the approach/emotion-focused category. The results for these two social support categories were highly significant. This may partly account for the observed trend for boys and girls to differ in their scores for the approach strategies. It is also consistent with previous literature (Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Frydenberg & Lewis, 1990; Jose & Hunsinger, 1997). Boys have not been found to be more aggressive than girls. Based loosely on Jose & Hunsinger (1997), boys were predicted to report significantly greater use of avoidance/problem- focused coping than girls were. This hypothesis was rejected by Kilburg (1997). Failure to replicate Jose’s finding may be due to an important methodological difference between the two studies. Jose et al. did not ask their participants to complete their coping measure in response to any particular stressor. Hence, the Jose et al. coping measure evaluated general coping tendencies. In contrast, Kilburg (1997) asked children to complete the Jose-based “CISCS” measure exclusively in response to the specific situation of “kids teased or avoided you.” Possibly boys use avoidance/problem-focused 24
  25. 25. coping strategies more than girls do in only other types of stressful situations. Boys did report using aggression (an avoidance/problem-focused item according to Jose, 1994, 1997) slightly more than girls did in the Kilburg study. However, surprisingly, this difference was not significant. It is possible that such a presumed difference develops subsequent to the upper-elementary school age bracket that Kilburg (1997) sampled. It is also very likely that the CISCS failed to measure aggression adequately for Japanese children. The aggression item was worded: “I got into a fight.” It is unclear whether this implies use of verbal or physical assault, especially in the Japanese language version of the item. Perhaps this item was interpreted by the Japanese boys as simply representing a more vivid description of the tease/avoid scenario, as opposed to a physically aggressive coping response. A clearer example of a distinct coping strategy using aggression might be: “I hit the person who was teasing me.” It would certainly be judicious to better detail aggression in future research, especially when participants are asked to respond to a tease/avoid scenario. Past measures have had major limitations. A crucial reason why Kilburg (1997) presented mixed conclusions overall with respect to previous American findings probably stems from two measurement issues. Firstly, the original Jose (1994, 1997) coping categorizations of problem/emotion-focused and approach/avoidance are not wholly consistent with those in Band and Weisz (1988), Altshuler and Ruble (1989), and other studies sited in this proposal. This is understandable because the original Jose measures evolved out of a separate line of research. Yet the discrepancy is an extremely important reminder that conceptually driven category labels may not be entirely consistent throughout the various branches of the coping literature. Secondly, and perhaps equally important, many of the American findings are not at all based on relational meaning, as outlined by Lazarus (1991). Often they are based on procedures that ask subjects to report how they cope generally. Lazarus’ work argues that to truly understand coping, researchers must do the best they can to focus on cognitive interpretations and convictions in particular stress-coping encounters that have actually happened. This arguably includes providing subjects with a means of identifying 25
  26. 26. their own intent with respect to the definitions of “emotion/problem focused,” “approach/avoidance,” or any other coping categories that necessitate contextual understanding. Adjustment The buffering effects of coping tend to be context-dependent. In terms of the stress-coping link and inferred buffering effects of coping, use of social support strategies with personality/body stressors (i.e. perceptions of dissatisfaction with various components of one’s perceived personality and body image) was positively correlated with stress (as an outcome variable) in Ohsako (1994). Use of problem-focused strategies was positively correlated with stress when used with teacher/school environment stressors, but negatively correlated with stress when used with friend/lover stressors. Use of emotion-focused strategies was positively correlated with stress when used with teacher/school environment stressors, but negatively correlated with stress when used with family stressors. Ohsako speculated on several issues. He considered that social support strategies may serve to heighten stress associated with personality/body stressors. Additionally, it was considered that such strategies may not necessarily decrease stress when used with schoolwork problems, in spite of students’ preference for such use. Perhaps procrastination is at issue. This is an important reminder that a strategy’s effectiveness depends on whether it is skillfully employed. Surprisingly, it is unclear from Ohsako’s data which strategies are effective with schoolwork problems, however. In terms of teacher/school environment stressors, Ohsako remarked that nothing seems to alleviate stress, in spite of the evidenced preference for emotion-focused strategies. Problem-focused strategies were argued to be effectively applied to friend/lover stressors, however. Finally, the preferred use of emotion- focused strategies with family stressors was argued to be an effective way to alleviate such stress. Yet whether this finding is valid for children’s relationships with parents and siblings alike is unclear. The Ohsako (1994) study is, in sum, laudable for having broken new ground in the rigorous analysis of high school students’ stress and coping. Perhaps most importantly, it showed that measures derived from American research could reasonably differentiate patterns of Japanese stress 26
  27. 27. and coping. Certainly the general finding of this study could be of use in hypothesis-formation for future studies. That is, coping efficacy appears to depend largely on the match between coping strategy type and context. A summary of the research shows specific needs. In summarizing the literature on Japanese children’s stress and coping [Yamamoto & Davis (1979), Kilburg (1997), Nagane (1991), Okayasu et al. (1992), Ohsako (1994)], several patterns have emerged, but many questions remain. It seems clear that Japanese children of upper-elementary school and junior high school ages face an increasing amount of stress as they age, particularly education-related stress. There does not seem to be a reliable sex difference regarding education-related stress. However, there is indication that girls experience more stress than boys when it comes to their bodies and their peers. In coping with their stress (at least peer conflict stress), upper-grade elementary school Japanese children use a variety of strategies. Older ones use more kinds of coping that include: information seeking, social support seeking, and rejuvenation. Unfortunately, previous measures have not been clear regarding the distinctions between the presumed kinds of coping represented by these strategies – especially regarding the problem/emotion- focused coping distinction. It is therefore difficult to make broad conclusions about developmental changes in Japanese coping. Sex differences presented in past research are much clearer. Japanese girls tend to (again, at least with peer conflict stress) use more social support seeking and self-blame than do Japanese boys. In terms of context effects of coping choice, there is not enough evidence to draw a firm conclusion regarding the upper-grade elementary school period in Japan. There is significant evidence that high school age Japanese children tend to choose strategies based on the stress domain and situation. For education-related stress that is specifically schoolwork- related, they tend to use problem-focused strategies that include information and resource seeking, as well as problem-related social support seeking. They also tend to use the emotion-focused strategy of sympathy-related social support seeking. For education-related and family-related stress that involves issues with teachers, parents, and siblings, Japanese children tend to use emotion-focused strategies 27
  28. 28. that include “patience,” “avoidance,” and “trying to change my mood.” In terms of coping as a buffer of stress, there is basic evidence (at least at the 10th grade level) that: (1) social support strategies exacerbate personality/body-related stress, perhaps by heightening awareness of it, (2) social support strategies do not necessarily alleviate schoolwork stress – perhaps because procrastination is at issue, (3) problem-focused strategies exacerbate teacher/school environment-related stress, but alleviate friend/lover stress – perhaps because the former is perceived as uncontrollable whereas the latter is not, (4) emotion-focused strategies exacerbate teacher/school environment-related stress, but alleviate family-related stress – perhaps because the former overwhelms students and the latter does not. [Referring to Yamamoto & Davis (1979), Kilburg (1997), Nagane (1991), Okayasu et al. (1992), Ohsako (1994)]. Unfortunately, the above pieces of evidence are based on research inventory items that are broad-based and few, defined without reference to relational meaning (Lazarus, 1991). Further, they do not lend themselves to consistent categorizations within subject-defined, emotion-focused and problem-focused groupings. What is needed at this stage of the research is a more comprehensive coping measure – one sensitive enough to capture a fuller range of coping types. It must allow for easy categorization of coping strategies in terms of the well-established emotion/problem-focused distinction. It must do so in a manner conducive to linkage with Japanese children’s adjustment, as no study to date has initiated this important piece. It should also allow for easy categorization of coping strategies in terms that might be vital for capturing potential U.S.-Japan differences in future research. Finally, a coping measure that could link to maternal socialization of coping would further break new ground. The Link between Maternal Socialization and Children’s Stress and Coping: U.S. and Japan Mothers have a profound, if not the most profound, influence on the socialization of their children into their respective societies. This assertion has its roots in the earliest expressions of developmental psychology as a discipline (e.g. Freud, 1924; Harlow, 1959; Bowlby, 1951; Erikson, 28
  29. 29. 1963). To be sure, father, sibling, peer, teacher, and other agents of socialization must be studied for a full account of the development of emotional adaptation in general. Nevertheless, due to the natural connection between mother and child in the human species, maternal socialization represents the most logical starting point in research attempts to understand the development of children’s stress and coping. Unfortunately, the literature on Japanese maternal socialization in stress and coping published in English is scant (see Shwalb & Shwalb, 1996). Conversely, the literature on U.S. maternal socialization in stress and coping is extensive and unwieldy (see: Kuhn & Sieger, 1998; Aldwin, 1994; Kliewer, Fearnow, & Miller, 1996; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Menhaghan, Kowaleski-Jones, & Mott, 1997). As a reasonable starting point, selected highlights from overlapping, U.S.-Japan comparisons of socialization of emotional adaptation will be discussed. A noteworthy comparison study was done by Crystal, Chen, Fuligni, Stevenson, Hsu, Ko, and Kitamura (1994). Crystal et al. considered parental expectations and satisfactions, psychological maladjustment, and academic achievement in a large-scale study of over 4000 Japanese, Chinese, and American eleventh-grade students. Inventories were used as well as a mathematics test of achievement. Japanese, Asian children tend to report high parental, academic expectations. In Crystal et al. (1994), Asian students reported higher levels of parental expectation and lower levels of parental satisfaction concerning academic achievement. In spite of this, both the Japanese and the Chinese students reported less stress than the American students. Crystal et al. (1994) argued that American youths have greater expectations of leisure time allowance. The higher levels of stress reported by American students were therefore explained as resulting from taxed resources. Zahn-Waxler, Friedman, Cole, Mizuta, & Hiruma (1996) examined the influence of culture, gender, and maternal child-rearing values on 60 Japanese and American preschool children’s responses to hypothetical interpersonal dilemmas. The children responded to hypothetical conflict or distress situations by choosing one of several pictures that best showed how they would feel. They 29
  30. 30. then chose one of several pictures of behavioral solutions to the conflicts. Lastly, the children listened to short conflict stories with props and then chose how the stories would end. The children’s mothers participated by completing a questionnaire on child rearing that inquired about attitudes, behaviors, values, and goals. Japanese children tend to be non-aggressive; Japanese mothers tend to use induction. Overall, Zahn-Waxler et al. (1996) demonstrated Japanese children to express less anger and less aggressive behavior and language than their U.S. counterparts. This was correlated with maternal encouragement of emotional expressivity. Japanese mothers were more likely than U.S. mothers to utilize “psychological discipline” (reasoning, guilt, and anxiety induction). In terms of sex differences, both the Japanese and the American girls communicated more pro-social themes and at times more anger than did the boys of the two cultures. Parenting style appears to impact on coping and adjustment. Kilburg (1997) examined Japanese children’s perceptions of both their mothers and fathers, in terms of warmth and control. Analyses pointed to possible coping socialization links that are consistent with the above findings. Firstly, children low in perceived parental warmth reported significantly greater use of avoidance/problem-focused coping than those high in perceived parental warmth. In the Jose (1994, 1997) groupings that Kilburg used, avoidance/problem-focused coping items included: “I didn’t do anything about the problem” and “I blamed someone else, lied, gave excuses, or cheated.” Such coping would seem to be at odds with effective peer conflict resolution. In addition to this coping finding, many more children low in perceived parental warmth reported having experienced the event of getting a poor grade on their report card than did children high in perceived parental warmth. This difference was rather striking. Only a third of the high warmth participants reported a poor grade, whereas roughly two thirds of the low warmth participants reported this experience. A summary of the research suggests patterns, further questions to be addressed. In concluding this section, it is noted that the above studies have revealed several broad patterns in Japanese maternal 30
  31. 31. socialization of emotional adaptation. Firstly, it seems Japanese children are raised to have relatively high expectations for academic achievement. Secondly, Japanese mothers may be focused on using induction as a means of influencing their children, perhaps in order to minimize aggressive responses in particular. Thirdly, Japanese parents who have relatively warm parenting styles may be more likely to have well-adjusted children, at least academically. Research directly measuring Japanese maternal encouragement and discouragement of various kinds of coping might shed greater light on these patterns. Rationale At the beginning of this proposal, a statement was made that American researchers of emotional adaptation are now engaged in taking the stress-coping-adjustment socialization patterns they have found in America and transporting and testing them in Japan – to see how well they generalize. After a review of the literature, it is apparent that the evidence is generally not yet well established. Further data collection is necessary. A study that is more comprehensive and refined than previous studies, particularly in terms of coping strategies, would do much to address inadequacies in the literature. Stress. Evidence to date regarding stress in Japanese children is not entirely clear. Researchers of Japanese children’s stress have found participants to report experiencing a variety of daily life event stressors, from various contexts including education, health/fitness, family/home life, and peer relations (e.g., Kilburg, 1997; Nagane, 1991; Okayasu, Shimada, Niwa, Mori, & Yatomi, 1992). In most cases they have found stress to increase across age, especially for education-related items. However, sex/gender differences have been less clear with education-related items. Early studies indicated that boys experience more education-related stress than girls do and later studies indicated few such differences. In a later study, girls did report, however, greater health/fitness and peer relations stress than boys did (Kilburg, 1997). Which of any of these findings are robust would be determined by the present research. 31
  32. 32. Coping. In terms of coping, there is great need in the literature to build a wider and deeper base of understanding of Japanese reports and interpretations. The present project proceeded with analyses that could evaluate subject-defined, emotion-focused (EF) and problem-focused (PF) groupings. This categorization is vital if future, direct U.S.-Japan comparisons are to surmount standardization issues, which could hinder cross-cultural interpretation of findings. As a reasonable means of overcoming past difficulties with the approach/avoidance distinction, EF and PF strategies were further cast in terms of whether they are primarily cognitive or behavioral. It was then the task of factor analysis to reveal underlying factor structures. Adjustment. Research must begin to consider the issue of children’s adjustment, well being, or life-satisfaction. American research has shown that older children are more able to generate coping options than younger children (Band & Weisz, 1988; Altshuler & Ruble, 1989; Compas, Worsham, & Ey, 1992). This is a hallmark of maturity and adaptation. It has further been found that coping such as “social support seeking” and “problem solving” correlate positively with self-esteem (Causey & Dubow, 1992). Other studies by Ayers, Sandler, West, and Roosa (1996) and Kurtz (1994) have found that children who use “avoidance” and have less productive, less flexible coping tend to be depressed and/or disruptive. There is very little research addressing these issues in Japanese participants. Ohsako (1994) and Kilburg (1997) have found patterns that are not inconsistent with the above American findings. Yet these findings are conditioned on the domain in question. Social support seeking strategies do not appear to result in greater well being in personality/body-related stress, nor in schoolwork stress (Ohsako, 1994). Further, problem-focused and emotion-focused strategies generally both seem to exacerbate teacher/school environment-related stress (Ohsako, 1994). Perhaps perceptions of control are at issue (Ohsako, 1994). Limited to one coping context (bullying), Kilburg (1997) could not clarify this issue. Again, to date, no study has measured Japanese children’s adjustment as linked to coping behavior. The initial steps into this research area would be taken in the present study so that conclusions could be drawn about wider patterns of Japanese emotional adaptation. 32
  33. 33. Maternal Socialization. Finally, a review of the stress and coping literature has also shown a need for developmental research utilizing Japanese children and their mothers. There is very little research documenting maternal socialization of Japanese children’s coping behavior itself. Most of the work done in this area consists of broad queries into parenting attitudes, values, and goals and their impacts on children’s emotional expressiveness and academic performance (e.g., Lahnam & Garrick, 1996; Machida, Hess, & Azuma, 1996; Zahn-Waxler, Friedman, Cole, Mizuta, & Hiruma, 1996). To date, there is no research investigating the specific links between maternal encouragement/discouragement of particular coping strategies and the impact of that encouragement/discouragement on children’s reports of their own coping. Research into this connection would be highly illuminating as to the transmission of hypothesized, unique cultural patterns of emotional adaptation in Japan. The basic project. As a means of meeting the specific exploratory research needs discussed above, measurement of the following was put forth: everyday life event stress, coping strategies, maternal encouragement/discouragement of coping, and child adjustment. Several existing instruments (Kilburg, 1997) were modified where necessary and used to test Japanese children and their mothers to yield a database that would enable systematic analysis. The Everyday Life Event Scale (Kilburg, 1997) was utilized to measure children’s stress. A coping scale from Kilburg (1997) was greatly expanded yielding two forms, one for children and one for mothers. A newly created School Performance and Life Satisfaction Scale was utilized to measure adjustment, or coping outcomes. These measures are outlined in detail in the subsequent chapter and appear in full in the appendices. Relational meaning. A final word should be stated with respect to relational meaning as defined by Lazarus (1991). Throughout the introduction of the present paper, the case was made that past stress-coping studies have often failed to consider the unique relational meaning that is invariably part of any “real life” situation in which individuals encounter stress and employ coping strategies. While people may indeed have dispositional traits and while people may indeed be induced to behave 33
  34. 34. in certain ways as a function of situation, every coping act occurs within a unique moment-to-moment context that underscores its relational meaning, as defined in Lazarus’ Cognitive-motivational- relational theory (1991). That is, cognitive interpretation and motivation are assumed to invariably be part and parcel of what drives coping. It is therefore important to recognize these components in a progressive stress-coping research methodology. In the above regard, the following specifications were to stand as unique assurances that the measures of the current study have been designed not only to compensate for many of the inadequacies of the previous studies, but also to conform to the dictates of the well-established work of Lazarus (1991). The reader will note that the coping measures of the present study [the Children’s Inventory of Coping (CIC) and its maternal analog, the Socialization Inventory of Coping (SIC)], are designed such that subjects rate coping use intensity in response to the recall of a particular event they define as actually having happened, within a given stress domain (education, health/fitness, peer relations, or family/home life), within the past week. The measures are also designed to account for the basic elements of cognitive interpretation and motivation (e.g., control/opportunity, fault, effort, emotional sensitivity, individual/collective initiative, etceteras) as defined by Lazarus (1991). This is the stuff of relational meaning and thereby appraisal – upon which Lazarus’ Cognitive-motivational- relational theory rests. In the event of ambiguities in the interpretation of various results of the coping analyses of this proposed study, the option to engage in further controls based on indications of appraisal (Lazarus, 1991) was to be available. That is, the coping measures provide indications of cognitive interpretation and motivation (i.e., control/opportunity, fault, effort, emotional sensitivity, individual/collective initiative) in the items of its opening section. These items were to be referred to if questions arose regarding the details of the coping episodes. In any event, subject selection of coping items was to go about under highly contextual recall circumstances and according to research participants’ own indications of whether coping was done in order to “fix the problem” or to “feel better.” In sum, the above steps represented the foundation building that is needed in this area of research. 34
  35. 35. A two-fold purpose. Lastly, the ultimate purpose of this research as a whole was two-fold: 1) to increase American understanding of Japanese interpretations of the stress-coping-adjustment process and 2) to develop a set of measures that could be used for a direct U.S.-Japan comparison in a future study, such that potential cultural differences in emotional adaptation could be understood in the absence of serious concern about cultural bias. Research Questions and Hypotheses Stress 1. Will boys or girls report greater stress for family/home life, health/fitness, education, and/or peer relations contexts? HYPOTHESIS 1: Girls will report greater stress for health/fitness and peer relations contexts than boys will (based on Kilburg, 1997). 2. Will younger children or older children report greater stress for family/home life, health/fitness, education, and/or peer relations contexts? HYPOTHESIS 2: Older children will report greater stress for the education context than younger children will (based on Kilburg, 1997). 3. Will there be any interactions between sex and age regarding stress for family/home life, health/fitness, education, and/or peer relations contexts? Coping 4. Will boys or girls report greater use of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? HYPOTHESIS 3: Girls will report greater use of cognitive, problem-focused coping than boys will (Based on Band & Weisz, 1988; Folkman & Lazarus, 1988; Altshuler & Ruble, 1989; Compas, Worsham, & Ey, 1992). HYPOTHESIS 4: Girls will report greater use of cognitive, emotion-focused coping than boys will (Based on Band & Weisz, 1988; Folkman & Lazarus, 1988; Altshuler & Ruble, 1989; Compas, Worsham, & Ey, 1992). 5. Will younger or older children report greater use of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? HYPOTHESIS 5: Older children will report greater use of cognitive, problem-focused coping than younger children will (Based on Kilburg, 1997; Band & Weisz, 1988; Folkman & Lazarus, 1988; Altshuler & Ruble, 1989; Compas, Worsham, & Ey, 1992). HYPOTHESIS 6: Older children will report greater use of cognitive, emotion-focused coping than younger children will (Based on Kilburg, 1997; Band & Weisz, 1988; Folkman & Lazarus, 1988; Altshuler & Ruble, 1989; Compas, Worsham, & Ey, 1992). 6. Will there be any context effects for problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? 35
  36. 36. 7. Will there be any interactions between sex and age, sex and context, age and context, and/or between sex, age, and context for use of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? Adjustment: School Performance and Life Satisfaction 8. Will there be a positive or negative correlation between school performance and/or life satisfaction and use of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? Maternal Socialization: Discouragement/Encouragement of Coping 9. Will mothers of boys or mothers of girls report greater discouragement/encouragement of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? 10. Will mothers of younger children or mothers of older children report greater discouragement/encouragement of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? 11. Will there be any context effects for discouragement/encouragement of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? 12. Will there be any interactions between child sex and child grade, child sex and context, child age and context, and/or between child sex, child age, and context for discouragement/encouragement of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? 13. Will there be a positive or negative correlation between child use of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and maternal discouragement/encouragement of problem-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral) and/or emotion-focused coping (cognitive & behavioral)? 36
  37. 37. CHAPTER II. METHOD Research participants Participants were all native Japanese who have never lived outside of Japan. They were sampled from four separate schools near Tsu City in Mie prefecture, Japan: Fuzoku Elementary, Fuzoku Junior High, Kyohoku Junior High, and Tsu Higashi High. Tsu City is essentially a suburb of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Additionally, all four schools can be classified as being primarily middle- class in terms of both income and education level. Based on student classes to which the researcher was granted access, a total of 1610 questionnaires were distributed to 805 mother-child pairs (805 child questionnaires to 805 children, 805 mother questionnaires to 805 mothers). For Fuzoku Elementary School, 226 questionnaires were distributed to 113 mother-child pairs. One-hundred-twelve child questionnaires were returned for a 99% response rate. One-hundred-seven mother questionnaires were returned for a 95% response rate. For Fuzoku Junior High School, 314 questionnaires were distributed to 157 mother-child pairs. Thirty-nine child questionnaires were returned for a 25% response rate. Thirty-eight mother questionnaires were returned for a 24% response rate. For Kyohoku Junior High School, 294 questionnaires were distributed to 147 mother-child pairs. One-hundred-forty-seven child questionnaires were returned for a 100% response rate. One-hundred-thirty-five child questionnaires were returned for a 92% response rate. For Tsu Higashi High School, 776 questionnaires were distributed to 388 mother-child pairs. Two-hundred-ninety-nine child questionnaires were returned for a 77% response rate. One-hundred-fifty-seven mother questionnaires were returned for a 40% response rate. Overall, out of 805 child questionnaires distributed, 597 were returned, for a 74% response rate. Out of 805 mother questionnaires distributed, 437 were returned, for a 54% response rate. See “Procedure” section below for further explanation of these response rates. After an additional counting of the questionnaires, it became apparent that some (43) of those intended for the mothers were actually completed by the fathers. Those questionnaires were subtracted from the analyses, so the study could focus on maternal influences. That left a total of 394 37
  38. 38. mother questionnaires to be used for the analyses. Further, some of those 394 questionnaires and some of the 597 child questionnaires were unusable, due to being incomplete in places. Some were discarded, depending on the analysis. The exact subject numbers included in each analysis are reported in the results section, with respect to the given analysis. In sum, a total of approximately 400 mothers and 600 children participated in the study (for a total of 400, matched mother-child pairs). This allowed for assignment of approximately 100 mother- child pairs for each of four stress-coping domains (education, family/home-life, peer relations, and health/fitness) and approximately 133 mother-child pairs for each of three school grades: 5, 8, and 10 (ages 10-11, 13-14, 15-16, respectively). For analyses related only to the children, approximately 150 children could be assigned to each of the four stress-coping domains, with approximately 200 at each of the three school grades. These numbers are approximate because response rates varied for each stress-coping context and for each grade at each school. The exact subject numbers are reported with each analysis in the results section below. Materials Materials consisted entirely of questionnaires. The questionnaires contain measures that were independently translated into Japanese by two Japanese-American, female bilinguals in the twenties age range (Rikako Takatsu and Mikako Nakajima). One of the bilinguals was born and raised in Japan, the other was born and raised in the United States, but spoke only Japanese in the house and spent several years studying in Japan. The measures were subsequently exchanged, back-translated, checked, and modified as necessary to ensure meaning was consistent between the English and Japanese versions. A third bilingual was enlisted independent of the original two. He is a Japanese professor (Kazuo Nishikawa, Mie University, Japan), in the fifties age range, born and raised in Japan. This third bilingual ensured that the Japanese measures were natural and fluid to the reader. This researcher was present for the entire process and is confident that the integrity of the original meanings was maximally preserved. 38
  39. 39. Each child and each mother completed one child and mother questionnaire packet, respectively. These packets consisted of the following measures (in order of presentation to the participants): Age, Sex, Grade A demographic inquiry provided personal data. This data yielded the variables of AGE, SEX, and GRADE (5, 8, and 10), as well as some other items for peripheral research. In all the analyses GRADE was used, instead of AGE, because of the presumed developmental implications of the institutionalized markers of maturity that grade levels provide. Stress The New Everyday Life Events Scale for Children (New ELESC) - This measure was derived from Jose (1994) and Kilburg (1997). Jose’s original (1994) scale was presented to the children to assess the actual occurrence of everyday events that have been annoying or anxiety evoking. Jose (1998) reported the original Jose (1994) scale to have demonstrated a Cronbach's alpha of .99 for an American sample. Kilburg (1997) made a first attempt at translation of Jose (1994) into Japanese. In Jose (1994), after the children were asked to state whether particular items were actually a problem for them or not (occurrence of problem), they were asked to state the perceived degree of the stress (intensity). For example, “you were picked last for a team” – “if it was a problem, how much stress did it cause? (a little, some, or a lot).” [Because causality is relatively diffuse in the Japanese language, the Japanese version of this question actually reads more like “if it was a problem, how much stress was involved?”]. There were also blanks provided for write-in events. There were 43 items in total. Modifications of the original scale were undertaken to present events more objectively; that is, free of implied stress value. For example, “not liking the way you looked” (from the original scale) was changed to “you thought about the way you look.” The reasoning was that the measurement of event occurrence should be distinct from stress intensity where possible, to prevent biased responses 39
  40. 40. where participants might be inadvertently primed to indicate stressfulness when it did not actually exist. In order to increase cultural relevance, several additional items were added to the original measure. They are: “you had after-school lessons or practice (e.g., juku, piano, English, etc.),” “you had to do something because you're a boy/girl, but you did not want to do it,” “you disagreed with most of the people in a group but did what they wanted anyway,” “you did not want to follow your school’s dress code.” Due to translation issues, not all of these additional items are maximally free of implied stress value. Nevertheless, they suffice as pilot items. All of them were composed based on cultural considerations put forward by two native born Japanese who translated and consulted for an earlier project (Kilburg, 1997). In addition to the above modifications, a question about the frequency of problems was placed after each item. So rather than simply indicating whether a given event occurred or not, children were asked to indicate how many times the given event occurred in the past week (maximum: 7 times; i.e., to account for as much as one occurrence a day). It was considered that this is a more accurate way to measure the relative stress of, for example, “you were ill” and “kids teased or avoided you” - in the case that the latter is a daily event for a child. Items from the stress measure were grouped into categories logically predetermined by this researcher on the basis of conceptual similarity, representing the following stress contexts: family/home-life, health/fitness, education, and peer relations. Event stress intensity values (for each stress context: family/home life, health/fitness, education, and peer relations), were calculated into averages. So too were event stress frequency values. Reliability analyses (Cronbach’s Alphas) were conducted to test the association between the event frequency data and the event stress intensity data. Prior to the analyses it was decided that if the analyses yielded alphas of .70 or better, the event frequency data would be deemed redundant and subsequent stress analyses would be conducted exclusively on the event stress intensity data, without the event occurrence data. In any event, collecting both sorts of data would not have been done in 40
  41. 41. vain, because presumably asking the children about both frequency and intensity dimensions would facilitate memory recall and thus accuracy of the data. As it turned out, the Cronbach’s Alphas were higher than .70 in all cases (in total stress intensity scores and total stress frequency scores, as well as in stress intensity and frequency scores by stress-coping domain – i.e., education, peer, home/family life, and health/fitness). Hence the event stress intensity data alone were used in all subsequent stress analyses. Thus, since the event frequency data were deemed redundant by the previously discussed Cronbach’s Alpha analyses, the stress intensity values reported were simply summed and averaged with respect to the stress context to which they belong (i.e., the stress intensity values of a given stress context were summed and divided by the number of items in that stress context). This resulted in 4 overall stress scores for each participant (please see coding key and measures in Appendices). Hence, four dependent variables were created: FAMILY/HOME LIFE STRESS, HEALTH/FITNESS STRESS, EDUCATION STRESS, AND PEER RELATIONS STRESS. Coping The Children’s Inventory of Coping (CIC) - This measure was created by the present researcher in an attempt to expand previous measures. Data obtained from it were grouped into two coping strategy categories: PROBLEM-FOCUSED (PF) and EMOTION-FOCUSED (EF). Both of these were subdivided into COGNITIVE PF, BEHAVIORAL PF, COGNITIVE EF, and BEHAVIORAL EF (please see coding key and measures in Appendices). There were four versions of this measure, wherein COPING CONTEXT was varied between subjects. The four coping contexts correspond to the previously mentioned four stress contexts: family/home life, education, peer relations, and health/fitness. They were represented as levels of COPING CONTEXT. Respective to these levels, the following events were used (one per measure version): having an argument with a sibling (family/home life event), having a lot of school work to do (education event), and being bullied/teased by another child (peer relations event), and having negative 41
  42. 42. thoughts about personal appearance (health/fitness event). Reliability analysis (Cronbach’s Alpha) was conducted to test the association between the items across COPING CONTEXT. Prior to the analysis it was decided that if the analysis yielded an alpha at .70 or better, the COPING CONTEXT distinctions would be deemed superfluous and would be ignored for the subsequent coping analyses. The analysis yielded a Cronbach’s Alpha of .95 from the children’s data. A subsequent analysis of the mothers’ data yielded a Cronbach’s Alpha of .88. Hence, the COPING CONTEXT distinctions were deemed superfluous and ignored for all subsequent coping analyses. Further, the research questions related to context were dropped. The context distinctions were not noted in vain, however. They presumably added much to the realism of children’s responses to the coping questionnaire. The PROBLEM-FOCUSED and EMOTION-FOCUSED coping categories discussed above were derived from a coping measure used by Kilburg (1997). This measure was originally designed by Jose (1994, 1997). The original coping categories used by Jose are abandoned in this new model. However, the basic Jose items remain. Jose (1998) reported the original Jose (1994 & 1998) items to have demonstrated Cronbach's Alphas of between .65 and .83 (for subscales), for an American sample. Jose et al. (1994) showed the item subscales to demonstrate validity by mediating and moderating the influence of stress on outcome measures. What differentiates the new system of this study from the old one of Jose (1994, 1998) is that all the items were essentially expanded three-fold; so they might elicit more detailed responding on the part of subjects. The Jose (1994 & 1998) and Kilburg (1997) coping measures contained between 22 and 32 items. The present Kilburg coping measure contains 65 items, representing 65 coping strategies. For each item, participants made use of a 5 point scale to convey how much they engaged in the given coping strategy: “None at all” (0), “A little” (1), “A moderate amount” (2), “Much” (3), and “Very much” (4). The expanded items of the CIC were assigned to the PROBLEM-FOCUSED and EMOTION- FOCUSED categories based on a focus group meeting between research team members, including two 42
  43. 43. Americans and three Japanese. The categorization of these items into PROBLEM-FOCUSED and EMOTION-FOCUSED is in most cases evident by the wording of the item. That is, most PROBLEM-FOCUSED items contain the phrase “…to help fix the problem” and most EMOTION- FOCUSED items contain the phrase “… so I would feel better.” In cases where these phrases are not included, the underlying meaning is assumed in the main parts of the item. The COGNITIVE PF/EF and BEHAVIORAL PF/EF subdivisions represent a logical distinction between subjective (cognitive) and objective (behavioral). These subdivisions served as the basis for the primary coping analyses. The new coding scheme of this research represents a departure from the “approach” and “avoidance” categories of Jose (1997). The supposition is that given relational meaning (Lazarus, 1991), the questionnaire researcher cannot easily define what constitutes approach or avoidance in a given encounter. For instance, social withdrawal, which is considered by many to be a way of avoiding a problem, could actually be an effective means of approaching the problem – e.g., when giving the “silent treatment” works to improve one’s lot (similarly, social seeking may simply be a means of avoiding the “real” issue, e.g., by means of procrastination with friends). As another example, “self-blame”, which is also considered by many to be a way of avoiding a problem, could actually be an effective means of approaching the problem – e.g., when “taking the fall” works to improve one’s lot. Aggression is another example. Many consider it a classic way of avoiding a problem – yet there is no denying that in many cases it is not only directly effective, but also societally acceptable. In sum, “approach” and “avoidance” are much more elusive as concepts than researchers generally acknowledge (Aldwin, 1991). It is certainly possible to conduct interviews with subjects regarding their coping intent, but that is very laborious. As a starting point, it was arguably better to construct coping questionnaire items such that problem-focused or emotion-focused indicators in those items would force subjects to respond as to why they used a given strategy. In any event, the current state of the literature dictates that researchers should first establish clearly how Japanese children rate with regard to the problem/emotion-focused distinction. 43

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