Comparing resilience and coping among emerging, young, and middle-aged adults

Dumitrescu, Donna I.
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Faculty of Arts, University of Regina

Resilience and adaptive coping are two attributes that are essential to dealing with life’s perpetual stressors. Evidence supports that middle-aged adults are more resilient and better at coping with stressors than their younger counterparts. Nevertheless, some evidence also supports that young adults who use problem- and emotion-focused coping successfully cope with stressors. The present study was aimed at better understanding resilience and coping in emerging (i.e., 18 to 25 years), young (i.e., 26 to 44 years), and middle-aged (i.e., 45 to 64 years) adults in Saskatchewan by examining whether certain age groups demonstrated higher levels of coping and resilience and the factors (adverse events, coping style, social support, wisdom) that might be connected to these higher levels. A total of 297 Saskatchewan adults were included in the final sample, with 67 emerging, 164 young, and 66 middle-aged adults. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and simple linear regressions were performed. While no differences across age groups were identified for problem-focused coping, emerging and young adults reported higher levels of emotion-focused and avoidant coping compared to middle-aged adults. Social support and wisdom were found to significantly influence coping above and beyond age. These findings support existing literature on lifespan coping and point to the need to promote social support and wisdom expansion for well-being across adulthood.

A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, University of Regina. vii, 62 p.
Coping., Middle-aged persons., Young adults., Stress management.