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Relationship of Coping Responses and Anxiety Symptoms in Hispanic Youth

Lourdes Suarez-Morales and Jennifer Jacobson

Coping responses and acculturative stress in relation to anxiety have not yet been examined in the Hispanic youth population in the United States. The present study investigated this relationship using empirically supported coping models and validated measures. It was predicted that based on previous research, emotion-focused and maladaptive coping would be positively associated with anxiety, and problem-focused coping would be negatively related to anxiety symptoms. Participants from a community sample consisting of 288 Hispanic youth completed a measure to assess coping, including ambiguous situations and open-ended responses, along with self-report questionnaires to assess anxiety symptoms and acculturative stress. Two independent raters used empirically supported coping categories to code coping responses. Data were analyzed using chi-square analyses and multiple hierarchical regressions. Results showed that acculturative stress was significantly associated to anxiety. However, the results were not consistent with the hypotheses regarding the relationship of coping responses with anxiety in this sample of Hispanic youth. This study highlights the importance of conducting future research to examine culturally appropriate methods ethnically diverse children use to cope and how coping may be related to anxiety in Hispanic populations.

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