Identifying coping strategies of adolescents


Adults, whether parents or teachers, find it increasingly difficult to cope with the behaviors of adolescents, precipitated by the single-parent, low income, often unstable home environment. At best, the behavior of adolescents is difficult to understand; so it is not surprising that in many instances in dealing with adolescents, adults react in unhealthy ways. Often adult frustrations lead to the deterioration of adult-child relationships. Although a large body of research literature exists on adolescent development, little of this theoretical knowledge is available to parents and teachers in an applicable format. This lack of practical knowledge is accompanied by the unavailability of an acceptable assessment instrument which can identify behavioral tendencies of adolescents which is useful to adolescents, parents, and teachers in understanding adolescent behavior. There are, however, many instruments used by specialists, counselors, and psychologists which profile dysfunctional or pathological adolescent behavior. Much of the behavior of adolescents, however, which frustrates teachers and parents on a daily basis falls within normal developmental boundaries. Teachers and parents need to have access to an assessment device that is theoretically and psychometrically sound yet simple in it's administration and interpretation, and leads to practical strategies for working with adolescents. The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot test a psychometrically sound instrument which could identify the coping strategies used by adolescents, and be understood, administered and interpreted by parents and educators. The development of the LASA was based on the six dimensional model of Long, and sought to improve upon the precision of earlier check list instruments. Each of the three stages (beta, alpha, and final) of the process further refined the instrument and allowed the final phase to focus on the usefulness of the instrument to parents and educators. The beta instrument was 75 items involving three versions (three, four, and five point Likert item scales). All three versions were completed by - 49 graduate students. The alpha instrument consisted of 46 items and was administered to 107 graduate students, parents, and teachers. Cronbach alpha was used to reduce the primary strategy scales 15 items to 10 while increasing the reliability of the overall scale. The final instrument was comprised of 36 items and was completed on 170 adolescents by teacher, parents, and graduate students. In addition, this version was sent to 26 of Long's previous patients in an attempt to anchor the LASA to his classification. The final version was found to be useful by parents and teachers and psychometrically sound.


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Graduation Date





Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education




169 p.



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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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