Stress With Parents and Peers: How Adolescents From Six Nations Cope With Relationship Stress


Requests for reprints should be sent to Inge Seiffge-Krenke, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany. Email:


This study investigated how 2000 adolescents from middle-class families in six countries perceived and coped with parent-related and peer-related stress. Adolescents from Costa Rica, Korea, and Turkey perceived parent-related stress to be greater than peer-related stress, whereas stress levels in both relationship types were similar in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Pakistan. Female adolescents predominantly reported higher levels of peer-related stress than male adolescents. Adolescents in all countries used negotiating and support-seeking to cope with relationship stress more often than emotional outlet or withdrawal. Withdrawal occurred more often to deal with parent-related than with peer-related stress. Results suggest that adolescents across countries competently coped with relationship stress. However, patterns of what adolescents perceived as stressful and how they coped varied between countries.