Get access
Public Health Nursing

Coping Styles of Pregnant Adolescents

Authors

  • Karen Myors R.N., C.M., B.H.Sci. (Nursing),

    1. Karen Myors is a Coordinator, Parenting Education Department, Liverpool Health Service, Sydney, Australia. Maree Johnson is a Research Professor, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney (Macarthur) and Former Director, South Western Sydney Center for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, Australia. Rachel Langdon is a Research Assistant, South Western Sydney Center for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, Australia.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Maree Johnson R.N., B.App.Sci., M.App.Sci., Ph.D.,

    1. Karen Myors is a Coordinator, Parenting Education Department, Liverpool Health Service, Sydney, Australia. Maree Johnson is a Research Professor, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney (Macarthur) and Former Director, South Western Sydney Center for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, Australia. Rachel Langdon is a Research Assistant, South Western Sydney Center for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, Australia.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rachel Langdon B.App.Sci., B.A.

    1. Karen Myors is a Coordinator, Parenting Education Department, Liverpool Health Service, Sydney, Australia. Maree Johnson is a Research Professor, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney (Macarthur) and Former Director, South Western Sydney Center for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, Australia. Rachel Langdon is a Research Assistant, South Western Sydney Center for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney, Australia.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Professor Maree Johnson, c/o Center for Applied Nursing Research, Liverpool Health Service, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool BC NSW 1871, Australia. E-mail: m.johnson@uws.edu.au

Abstract

This descriptive study examined the coping styles and specific strategies used by a group of pregnant adolescents attending an adolescent family support service. Seventy-one adolescents, with a mean age of 17 years, and a mean gestation of 25 weeks, completed the Revised Jalowiec Coping Scale (JCS-R). The findings demonstrated that the optimistic coping style (emotion-focused) was the most frequently used and most effective coping style for these young women. A confrontive coping style (problem-focused) was also used and found to be effective. A combination of problem-focused and emotion-focused styles is recommended, with an increased emphasis on problem-focused approaches. The focus by the adolescents on optimistic approaches is suggestive of a lack of understanding of the challenges that motherhood will place upon them, but is consistent with their age and developmental stage. A longitudinal study of coping styles and changes in style throughout pregnancy and early motherhood is recommended. Initial assessment and monitoring of coping styles of pregnant adolescents is proposed. This assessment would be the beginning point for a teaching program that highlights increased use of adaptive coping styles (problem-focused) with decreased use of maladaptive approaches, and includes emotion-focused styles. By expanding the repertoire of coping styles and strategies available to the adolescent, the public health nurse (PHN) prepares these vulnerable mothers for the challenges ahead.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary