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A Prospective Study of Life Stress, Social Support, and Adaptation in Early Adolescence

David L. DuBois, Robert D. Felner, Stephen Brand, Angela M. Adan and Elizabeth G. Evans
Child Development
Vol. 63, No. 3 (Jun., 1992), pp. 542-557
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131345
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131345
Page Count: 16
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A Prospective Study of Life Stress, Social Support, and Adaptation in Early Adolescence
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Abstract

This study employed a 2-year longitudinal design to examine the relation of stressful life events and social supports to psychological distress and school performance among 166 early adolescents (mean age = 13.5 years). A prospective approach was utilized to control for initial levels of adjustment when examining the relation of Time 1 stress and support variables to Time 2 psychological distress and school performance. Both stress and support variables made significant contributions to the prediction of subsequent psychological distress. Stresses, but not supports, made a significant contribution to the prediction of subsequent school performance. Evidence for reciprocal and interactive linkages was also found, including effects of psychological distress and school performance on subsequent stresses and supports, and greater adaptive impact of school-based supportive resources under conditions of heightened risk outside of school. Implications for ecological and transactional models of development relating to the targeting and efficacy of preventive efforts are discussed.

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