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Family cohesion, control, social support, and the coping strategies of mothers of separated/divorced… Krause, Allison Mary 1991

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FAMILY COHESION, CONTROL, SOCIAL SUPPORT, AND THE COPING STRATEGIES OF MOTHERS OF SEPARATED/DIVORCED OFFSPRING by ALLISON MARY KRAUSE B . S c , The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1983 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the requ i red s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1991 © A l l i s o n Mary Krause, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date September 26, 1991 D E - 6 (2788) i i Abs t rac t Th is study examined the r e l a t i o n s h i p between f am i l y cohes ion , perce ived c o n t r o l , r ece i ved s o c i a l support types (emot iona l , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , and t a n g i b l e ) , and the coping s t r a t e g i e s used by mothers of separated or d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g . E i g h t y - f o u r mothers completed a q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o n s i s t i n g of the Fami ly R e l a t i o n s h i p Index, a r e v i s e d ve rs i on of the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behav io rs , the COPE s c a l e , and a s i n g l e con t ro l i t em. Two s imul taneous m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n ana lyses were conducted w i th Avoidant coping (Focusing On And Vent ing Emotion, Behav io ra l Disengagement, and Mental Disengagement) and A c t i v e coping (Ac t i ve Cop ing, P l a n n i n g , and P o s i t i v e R e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and Growth) as c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s , and fam i l y cohes ion , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , emotional suppor t , i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t , and t a n g i b l e support as p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s . The r e g r e s s i o n equat ion f o r Avoidant coping reached s i g n i f i c a n c e , F(5,78) = 7 .68 , p_<.0001, and accounted f o r 33% of the va r iance i n Avo idant cop ing . Three v a r i a b l e s , f am i l y cohes ion , perce ived c o n t r o l , and rece i ved emotional suppor t , were s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avoidant cop ing . The equat ion p r e d i c t i n g A c t i v e coping a l s o reached s i g n i f i c a n c e , £ (5 ,78) = 2 .46 , p_<.05, and accounted f o r 14% of the va r iance in A c t i v e cop ing . One v a r i a b l e , r ece i ved emotional suppor t , was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to A c t i v e cop ing . The f i n d i n g s c l a r i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between environmental v a r i a b l e s ( fami l y cohes ion , and support t y p e s ) , and personal v a r i a b l e s (perce ived c o n t r o l ) , and the g rea te r use of s p e c i f i c coping s t r a t e g i e s in mothers of separated or d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g . i i i Table of Contents Page A b s t r a c t i i Table of Contents i i i L i s t o f Tables v i Acknowledgement v i i I n t r oduc t i on 1 L i t e r a t u r e Review 7 S t r e s s and Coping 7 Models of coping 7 Func t ions of coping 9 Coping measurement 10 Coping s t r a t e g i e s 17 Coping w i th M a r i t a l S t ress and D ivorce 23 Determinants of Coping 33 Environmental V a r i a b l e s 35 S o c i a l support 35 Fami ly cohesion 45 Personal V a r i a b l e 49 Perce i ved con t ro l 49 Summary 54 Hypotheses 56 Method 57 Sub jec ts 57 Procedure 61 Instruments 62 Demographic i n fo rmat ion 62 P r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s 62 i v C r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e 67 Data A n a l y s i s 70 Resu l t s 71 D e s c r i p t i v e s t a t i s t i c s 71 Grandmothers 73 C o r r e l a t i o n s Between V a r i a b l e s . 74 P r e l i m i n a r y A n a l y s i s 75 Hypotheses 77 Avo idant coping 78 A c t i v e coping 78 Pos t -hoc Analyses 81 D i s c u s s i o n 85 P r e d i c t o r s of A c t i v e and Avoidant Coping 85 Avo idant coping 86 A c t i v e coping 88 Emotional Support Rece ip t 90 Support Given To An Adu l t C h i l d 92 Grandmothers and Adu l t C h i l d S e p a r a t i o n / D i v o r c e 93 R e l a t i v e Scores Versus Raw Scores 94 L i m i t a t i o n s to the Study 95 Future Research 97 I m p l i c a t i o n s For Counse l l o r s 100 References 104 Appendices 1 1 5 Appendix A. Telephone Screening 115 Appendix B. Telephone and Ques t ionna i re Screen ing Items 116 V Appendix C. In t roduc to ry L e t t e r to P r o s p e c t i v e Sub jec ts 117 Appendix D. Research Resu l t s Form and L e t t e r For I n te res ted F r iend or R e l a t i v e 119 Appendix E. Fo l low-up L e t t e r s 121 Appendix F. Demographic In format ion 123 Appendix G. S t r e s s o r I d e n t i f i c a t i o n and Cont ro l Item 126 Appendix H. The Mod i f i ed Vers ion of the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behav iors (ISSB) . . . . 128 Appendix I. FES Permiss ion L e t t e r 131 Appendix J . The R e l a t i o n s h i p Dimension of the Fami ly Environment Sca le (FES) 132 Appendix K. The COPE Sca le 134 Appendix L. Demographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Grandmothers 138 Appendix M. Wr i t ten Comments From Respondents 139 Appendix N. C o r r e l a t i o n s of Demographic, Suppor t , and Coping V a r i a b l e s 145 Appendix 0. R e l a t i v e A c t i v e and Avoidant Coping . . . . 146 v i L i s t o f Tables Page Table 1. Demographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Sample 59 Table 2 . Ques t i onna i re D i s t r i b u t i o n and Return F igures . . 63 Table 3. C o r r e l a t i o n s of P r e d i c t o r and C r i t e r i o n V a r i a b l e s 72 Table 4. Summary of F ind ings from M u l t i p l e Regress ion A n a l y s i s of P r e d i c t o r s of Avoidant Coping . . . . 79 Table 5. Summary of F ind ings from M u l t i p l e Regress ion A n a l y s i s of P r e d i c t o r s of A c t i v e Coping 80 v i i Acknowledgement I wish to thank my s u p e r v i s o r , Bonnie Long, f o r her superb guidance and wisdom, and f o r the on-going support she has prov ided me throughout the t h e s i s p rocess . I t has been a p r i v i i e d g e to work under her i n s t r u c t i o n . I would a l s o l i k e to thank my o ther committee members, Beth Haverkamp and Wendy H a l l , f o r being i n v a l u a b l e sources of knowledge and encouragement. F i n a l l y , a s p e c i a l acknowledgement to two people whose love and support were un ique ly v a l u a b l e . My a p p r e c i a t i o n to Barb Cowan f o r her f a i t h f u l n e s s , and f o r g i v i n g me the courage to see beyond myse l f to the s c h o l a r I cou ld be. And my h e a r t f e l t g r a t i t u d e to my husband, Wayne, whose i n f e c t i o u s enjoyment of l i f e reminds me to not take th ings q u i t e so s e r i o u s l y . 1 In t roduc t i on D ivorce i n Canada has r a p i d l y i nc reased from an average of 11,000 d i vo r ces per year over the pe r iod 1966-68 to 70,436 in 1982 ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1989). Th is dramat ic i nc rease i n m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n has r e s u l t e d i n cons ide rab le research on the d i v o r c e process as i t r e l a t e s to p a r e n t s ' and c h i l d r e n ' s post d i v o r c e adjustment and l ega l custody concerns . Only r e c e n t l y , however, have i n v e s t i g a t o r s begun to look at the e f f e c t s o f d i v o r c e on o ther f am i l y members, p a r t i c u l a r l y the parents of the d i vo rced adu l t and the ways i n which they cope w i th the e x p e r i e n c e . The exper ience of having a son or daughter d i v o r c e i n the f a m i l y can have a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on o l d e r pa ren ts , both emo t i ona l l y and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y ( G o t t l i e b , G o t t l i e b , & S l a v i n , 1988; Hyat t & Kaslow, 1985). The m a j o r i t y o f parents f i n d the event nega t i ve , exp ress ing f e e l i n g s l i k e t r auma t i c , p a i n f u l , sad (Johnson, E . S . , 1981; Johnson & V i n i c k , 1982), d i sappo in ted (Matthews & Sprey, 1984), h e l p l e s s or personal f a i l u r e (Brown, 1982), and angry or depressed (Starbuck, 1989). Al though a few express r e l i e f (Matthews & Sprey, 1984; Pearson, 1988), even f o r those parents who are g lad the marr iage i s over , aspects o f the d i v o r c e process can s t i l l be d i s t r e s s i n g ( G o t t l i e b et a l . , 1988). Indeed p a r e n t s ' exper ience of s t r e s s has been l i n k e d to the presence of g randch i l d ren (Johnson & V i n i c k , 1982; Starbuck, 1988), pa ren ta l r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n s (Pearson, 1988), emotional over invo lvement in the f am i l y (Hyatt & Kaslow, 1985), and absence of communication between parent and adu l t c h i l d about 2 e x i s t i n g m a r i t a l problems (Pearson, 1988). Cons ide r i ng the near -normat ive occurance of d i vo rce and i t s impact on o l d e r pa ren ts , e x p l o r a t i o n of the ways in which parents cope w i th t h i s l i f e event i s war ran ted . There fo re , the pr imary purpose of t h i s study was to exp lo re the ways in which mothers cope w i th the exper ience of an o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e , and the a s s o c i a t i o n of s o c i a l support v a r i a b l e s , cohes ion , and perce ived con t ro l to cop ing . The c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of coping used in t h i s study i s based on a theory of p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t r e s s and coping developed by Lazarus and h i s co l l eagues (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Lazarus & Laun ie r , 1978). The o v e r a l l t h e o r e t i c a l framework of coping i s t r a n s a c t i o n a l i n nature in tha t the person and the environment are viewed as being in a b i d i r e c t i o n a l , r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . The environment operates on the person, who i n tu rn ac ts upon the environment, which then ac ts on the person and so f o r t h . Cop ing , from t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , r e f e r s to a pe rson ' s c o g n i t i v e and behav io ra l e f f o r t s to manage the ex te rna l and i n t e r n a l demands of the person-environment t r a n s a c t i o n tha t tax or exceed the resources of an i n d i v i d u a l (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). This emphasis on coping as a process i s in c o n t r a s t to the more t r a d i t i o n a l view of coping as a t r a i t or s t a b l e tendency across s i t u a t i o n s ( V a i l l a n t , 1977). An i n d i v i d u a l ' s a p p r a i s a l of the event and what op t ions are a v a i l a b l e f o r a c t i o n shapes h i s or her coping d e c i s i o n s . In a d d i t i o n , these processes are i n f l u e n c e d by both the ac tua l s i t u a t i o n a l context and by p e r s o n a l i t y f a c t o r s as we l l (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Both s i t u a t i o n v a r i a b l e s and personal v a r i a b l e s are presumed to 3 c o n t r i b u t e in va ry ing degrees to the person-environment t r a n s a c t i o n by i n f l u e n c i n g a pe rson ' s exper ience of and response to a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n (F le ishman, 1984; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Parkes , 1986). Because of the i n f l u e n c e of environmental and personal f a c t o r s on i n d i v i d u a l a p p r a i s a l and coping c h o i c e , research examining coping processes must be b road ly s t r u c t u r e d to i n c l u d e those f a c t o r s germane to a p a r t i c u l a r s t r e s s f u l ep i sode . The nature of the environment in which a p a r t i c u l a r s t r e s s f u l event occurs can be regarded as a p o t e n t i a l resource tha t may i n f l u e n c e the types of coping used (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). S o c i a l support i n p a r t i c u l a r has been found to be r e l a t e d to l e v e l s of coping repor ted ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1981; Dunke l -Sche t t e r , Folkman, & Lazarus , 1987). I n t e r e s t in support and the coping process has l a r g e l y been sparked by s t u d i e s sugges t ing tha t s o c i a l support may be p o s i t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th p h y s i c a l and mental hea l th (Cohen & W i l l s , 1985; Pear l in & Schoo le r , 1978). S o c i a l support may i n f l u e n c e hea l th outcomes through i t s impact on a p p r a i s a l and coping processes (Fondacaro & Moos, 1987; T h o i t s , 1986). I t i s p o s s i b l e tha t people w i l l cope in more adap t i ve ways i f they have a s o c i a l support system to r e l y on, thus b e n e f i t t i n g t h e i r h e a l t h . With respec t to m a r i t a l s t r e s s , f o r example, women who repor ted more f am i l y support were found to engage i n l e s s avoidance coping and showed l e s s depressed mood and phys i ca l symptoms (Cronk i te & Moos, 1984). To da te , few s t u d i e s have i n v e s t i g a t e d the s o c i a l support system of mothers who have exper ienced the d i v o r c e or sepa ra t i on of an adu l t c h i l d (Pearson, 1988). 4 D e f i n i t i o n a l c l a r i t y i s a major cha l l enge in the study of s o c i a l suppor t . E a r l y t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n focused on the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of s o c i a l support as a un id imens iona l cons t ruc t (Brown, 1986). More r e c e n t l y i t has been argued tha t d i f f e r e n t k inds of s t r e s s f u l l i f e events may r e q u i r e d i f f e r e n t components of s o c i a l support to promote coping (Krause, 1986, 1987a). Evidence i s acc ru ing tha t the use of s p e c i f i c dimensions of s o c i a l support are d i f f e r e n t i a l l y r e l a t e d to hea l th outcomes (Krause, 1987a; Krause & Mark ides , 1990; Schae fe r , Coyne, & Lazarus , 1981). Schaefer et a l . (1981), f o r example, i n v e s t i g a t e d the h e a l t h - r e l a t e d f unc t i ons of support and found d i f f e r e n t i a l e f f e c t s of i n f o r m a t i o n a l , emot iona l , and t a n g i b l e suppor t . The s t reng th of the r e l a t i o n s h i p among o l d e r mothers and adu l t f am i l y members appears to be another important envi ronmental v a r i a b l e f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n in understanding the ways in which mothers cope wi th t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s d i v o r c e . There i s some i n d i c a t i o n tha t c l o s e f am i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s between parents and t h e i r adu l t c h i l d r e n f o s t e r coping s t r a t e g i e s that are focused on p rov i d i ng support and a s s i s t a n c e to the adu l t c h i l d dur ing the d i vo rce process ( C h e r l i n & Furs tenberg , 1986). The midd le genera t ion p lays an important r o l e in the maintenance of g randmother -grandch i ld con tac t , a concern tha t has been i d e n t i f i e d as a pr imary s t r e s s o r f o r grandparents dur ing the d i v o r c e process (Fr iedman, 1990; S tarbuck , 1989). Th is i s e s p e c i a l l y t rue f o r grandparents on the s i de of the non-c u s t o d i a l adu l t c h i l d ( C h e r l i n & Furs tenberg , 1986). C o n f l i c t e d f a m i l y environments may reduce the oppor tun i t y f o r such contac t 5 (Brown, 1982). Al though no s tud ies as ye t have focused s p e c i f i c a l l y on coping and the f am i l y cohesion of parents of d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n , f am i l y cohesion has been l i n k e d to s p e c i f i c coping s t r a t e g i e s in o ther popu la t i on groups ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1982; Hanson et a l . , 1989; Maynard, Maynard, McCubbin, & Shao, 1980). C o n s i s t e n t w i th the emphasis on c o g n i t i v e a p p r a i s a l i n L a z a r u s ' s t r a n s a c t i o n a l s t r e s s model, research has focused on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between coping and the pe rson ' s pe rcep t ion of a s t r e s s f u l encounter , p a r t i c u l a r l y the degree to which the i n d i v i d u a l appra ises the s i t u a t i o n as c o n t r o l l a b l e or u n c o n t r o l l a b l e (Compas, Ma lcarne, & Fondacaro, 1988; Forsythe & Compas, 1987). These s tud ies found s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s between perce ived con t ro l and coping s t r a t e g i e s used. Al though con t ro l a p p r a i s a l and coping have been i n v e s t i g a t e d in s t ud ies of d i vo rced women (Props t , Pa rd ing ton , Ostrom, & Watk ins, 1986), ado lescen ts (Compas et a l . , 1988), and undergraduate s tudents (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985; Forsythe & Compas, 1987) l i t t l e i s known about the r e l a t i o n s h i p of these two v a r i a b l e s on mothers of separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n . The t r a n s a c t i o n a l model o f s t r e s s and coping p o s i t s tha t aspects of the environment and the person i n f l u e n c e s a p p r a i s a l and s e l e c t i o n of coping responses (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Given the negat ive impact s t r e s s can have on p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l -being and because there i s ev idence to suggest tha t s t r e s s of an adu l t c h i l d ' s d i vo r ce may a f f e c t parenta l adjustment and l i f e q u a l i t y (Johnson, E . S . , 1981; Pearson, 1988), there i s a need to understand the r e l a t i o n s h i p between environmental and personal 6 v a r i a b l e s r e l e v a n t to parents of d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n and the coping s t r a t e g i e s they employ. Environmental and personal v a r i a b l e s that may be important to mothers of separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n are f am i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l suppor t , and pe rce ived c o n t r o l . The purpose of t h i s study was to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between f a m i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l support components ( e . g . , emo t i ona l , t a n g i b l e , and i n f o rm a t i ona l ) and con t ro l pe rcep t ions f o r mothers of separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n , w i th the use of d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s . In p a r t i c u l a r , i t was expected tha t a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s between some or a l l o f the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l support components, and perce ived c o n t r o l , and the use of an avo idant coping mode (behav io ra l disengagement, mental disengagement, and focus ing on and ven t ing emotions coping s t r a t e g i e s ) . Fu r the r , i t was expected tha t a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s between some or a l l of the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l support components and pe rce ived c o n t r o l , and the use of an a c t i v e coping mode ( a c t i v e , p l a n n i n g , and r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth coping s t r a t e g i e s ) . 7 L i t e r a t u r e Review The focus of t h i s study i s on the coping e f f o r t s of mothers of separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n , and the i n f l u e n c e of s p e c i f i c environmental and personal f a c t o r s on cop ing . The emphasis i s on females ra the r than males because of t h e i r g rea te r r o l e as ' k i n k e e p e r s ' w i t h i n the f am i l y ( T r o l l , 1971). Recent research i n d i c a t e s tha t there are d i f f e r e n c e s i n males and females in t h e i r ways of coping ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1981; Pearson, 1988; Stone & Nea le , 1984), and in t h e i r m o b i l i z a t i o n , r e c e i p t , and s a t i s f a c t i o n of s o c i a l support ( B e l l e , 1991; Wohlgemuth & Be t z , 1991). In a d d i t i o n , women may be more s e n s i t i v e to i n t e r p e r s o n a l c o n f l i c t than men (Long, 1990). The f o l l o w i n g review presents a model of coping tha t p rov ides the t h e o r e t i c a l underp inn ings f o r t h i s s tudy . Through a c r i t i q u e of research in the area of cop ing , i s sues of measurement and adapt iveness are d i s c u s s e d . In a d d i t i o n , s t u d i e s on m a r i t a l s t r e s s , d i vo rce and coping processes are p resen ted . F i n a l l y , an overv iew of the l i t e r a t u r e on the content areas of environmental v a r i a b l e s ; s o c i a l support and f a m i l y cohes ion , and the p e r s o n a l i t y v a r i a b l e ; perce ived con t ro l are rev iewed. S t r ess and Coping Models of cop ing . The concept of coping has been of i n t e r e s t to p s y c h o l o g i s t s f o r many y e a r s , ye t u n c e r t a i n t y s t i l l e x i s t s as to how i t should be de f ined and measured. From the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c ego psychology model, coping i s viewed as an aspect of p e r s o n a l i t y , and i s de f ined as r e a l i s t i c and f l e x i b l e ac ts and thoughts tha t so l ve problems and thereby reduce s t r e s s 8 ( V a i l l a n t , 1977). Th is t r a d i t i o n a l approach d i f f e r e n t i a t e s among a number of i n t r a p s y c h i c processes tha t i n d i v i d u a l s use to handle person-envi ronment r e l a t i o n s ; namely coping as mature ego processes and defenses as immature or n e u r o t i c modes of a d a p t a t i o n . The a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s model to the measurement of coping r e s u l t s in a s t r u c t u r a l pe r spec t i ve of coping as s t a b l e d i s p o s i t i o n s across s i t u a t i o n s . For example, a person may be c l a s s i f i e d as a con fo rmis t or an o b s e s s i v e - c o m p u l s i v e . A major c r i t i c i s m of t h i s approach i s tha t t r a i t measures seldom p r e d i c t how people a c t u a l l y cope in a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n (Cohen & Lazarus , 1983). In c o n t r a s t to psychoana l y t i c approaches to cop ing , L a z a r u s ' s (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) t r a n s a c t i o n a l model o f s t r e s s and coping emphasizes the dynamic and b i d i r e c t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the person and the environment. Coping i s de f i ned as the process of managing i n t e r n a l and/or ex te rna l demands tha t tax or exceed the resources of the person (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Th is emphasis on process i s a d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f a c t o r tha t d i f f e r e n t i a t e s t h i s model from the t r a i t approach. Whereas t r a i t t h e o r i s t s assume tha t coping i s c o n s i s t e n t across s i t u a t i o n s ( G o l d s t e i n , 1973), the process o r i e n t e d pe rspec t i ve a s s e r t s tha t coping processes may change over t ime e i t h e r due to changes in the environment or to an i n d i v i d u a l ' s coping e f f o r t s . Th is change process tha t c h a r a c t e r i z e s coping i s not a c c i d e n t a l , but i s a f u n c t i o n of an ongoing s e r i e s of a p p r a i s a l s and r e a p p r a i s a l s of the person-environment t r a n s a c t i o n (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). A person appra ises the p o t e n t i a l harm or cha l l enge in an encounter and subsequent ly what coping resources 9 are a v a i l a b l e to meet the demands of the s i t u a t i o n . The way a person attempts to cope wi th a s t r e s s f u l encounter i s to a l a rge degree a f f e c t e d by these a p p r a i s a l s . Funct ions of coo ing . Lazarus and Folkman (1984), i n t h e i r c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of cop ing , have i d e n t i f i e d two major f u n c t i o n s : (a) problem-focused coping d i r e c t e d at managing or a l t e r i n g the source of s t r e s s e i t h e r by changing ones ' own a c t i o n s or by changing the environment, (b) emot ion- focused cop ing d i r e c t e d at managing the emotional response to a s t r e s s o r . These two major f unc t i ons have a l s o been noted by o ther resea rche rs ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1981; Fe l ton & Revenson, 1984; Pear l i n & Schoo le r , 1978). Prob lem-focused forms of coping i nc l ude those c o g n i t i v e and behav io ra l e f f o r t s tha t are d i r e c t e d at a n a l y z i n g the problem and t ak i ng a c t i o n . They are g e n e r a l l y thought to be used when a s i t u a t i o n i s appra ised as p rov i d i ng oppor tun i t y f o r change (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980). In c o n t r a s t , emot ion- focused forms of coping i nc l ude c o g n i t i v e s t r a t e g i e s l i k e s e l e c t i v e a t t e n t i o n and r e a p p r a i s a l , and behav io ra l s t r a t e g i e s l i k e seek ing emotional support or ven t ing anger. Emot ion- focused e f f o r t s are more l i k e l y to occur in events tha t are appra ised as o f f e r i n g l i t t l e oppo r tun i t y f o r change (Folkman & Lazarus , 1984). In g e n e r a l , a combinat ion of both problem-focused and emot ion- focused coping are used by i n d i v i d u a l s in response to a s t r e s s o r (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980, 1985), and the two forms of coping can f a c i l i t a t e or impede each o ther as a s t r e s s f u l encounter un fo lds (Folkman, 1982; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). For example, a mother may t r y to min imize the anx ie t y she i s f e e l i n g 10 over her s o n ' s d i vo rce because of the shame she f e e l s over the event . Th is attempt to reduce emotional d i s t r e s s may r e s u l t in the mother not a c t i v e l y seek ing ou ts ide support f o r h e r s e l f or her f a m i l y . Al though i n d i v i d u a l s g e n e r a l l y use both forms of cop ing , research ev idence suggests tha t one form of coping may predominate over another depending on the type of s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n exper ienced (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980; M a t t l i n , Wethington, & K e s s l e r , 1990; Pa t te rson & McCubbin, 1984). Coping measurement. Lack of consensus about how to measure coping poses a major problem in cu r ren t r e s e a r c h . S tud ies pu rpo r t i ng to measure coping o f ten d i f f e r in t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions about cop ing , t h e i r cho ice of coping measures and the type of s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n to be s t u d i e d . Th is o f ten makes i t d i f f i c u l t to g e n e r a l i z e across s t u d i e s that measure the ways tha t i n d i v i d u a l s cope wi th s t r e s s . One of the most w ide l y used s e l f - r e p o r t coping measure i s the Ways of Coping (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980). Embedded in the Ways of Coping s c a l e are two important t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions based on L a z a r u s ' s c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of s t r e s s and cop ing : (a) the use of coping s t r a t e g i e s v a r i e s dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter and across a number of s i t u a t i o n s , (b) there are two broad c a t e g o r i e s of cop ing ; problem-focused and emot ion - focused . These assumptions are the focus of two cu r ren t measurement i s s u e s . F i r s t , i s coping behaviour c o n s i s t e n t , and second, what dimensions of coping should be inc luded in an ins t rument in o rder to capture the d i v e r s i t y of p o s s i b l e coping a c t i v i t i e s a v a i l a b l e to a person? These two i ssues are important in 11 unders tanding the complex i ty of d e f i n i n g and assess i ng coping in s t r e s s r e s e a r c h . The i s s u e of cons i s tency or v a r i a b i l i t y o f coping behaviour across s i t u a t i o n s has been a t o p i c of much debate. E a r l y resea rche rs found tha t the use of coping was more v a r i a b l e than c o n s i s t e n t across d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s f u l ep isodes (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980). Folkman and Lazarus (1985), f o r example, found tha t coping was more v a r i a b l e than s t a b l e when i n v e s t i g a t e d dur ing d i f f e r e n t per iods of a s t r e s s f u l ep i sode . These authors s tud ied the ways i n which 108 undergraduate s tudents coped wi th the s t r e s s o f an examina t ion . Students responded to the Ways of Coping C h e c k l i s t (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985) on th ree separa te o c c a s i o n s : 2 days before the examina t ion , 5 days a f t e r the examina t ion , and 5 days a f t e r grades were announced. In c o n t r a s t , Stone and Neale (1984) examined peoples ways of coping w i th the same source of p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t r e s s on d i f f e r e n t o c c a s i o n s . In a study of 60 marr ied coup les , the resea rche rs repor ted tha t people tend to be c o n s i s t e n t i n t h e i r manner of coping w i th the same problem on d i f f e r e n t o c c a s i o n s . The couples completed a coping assessment inst rument d a i l y over a 21 day p e r i o d . Sub jec ts were asked to desc r i be the most s t r e s s f u l or bothersome event of the day, which they then ra ted on a s t r e s s s c a l e of 1 to 100 (1 being a l e s s s t r e s s f u l event , 100 being a more s t r e s s f u l even t ) . Respondents i n d i c a t e d how they handled the s i t u a t i o n by responding to e i gh t coping s t y l e s . More recent s t ud ies (Folkman, Lazarus , Gruen, & DeLongis , 1986; V i t a l i a n o , Katon, Russo, Maiuro , Anderson, & Jones , 1987) have found moderate cons i s tency in the use of coping s t r a t e g i e s 12 across d i v e r s e s i t u a t i o n s . V i t a l i a n o , Katon et a l . (1987) compared the coping s t r a t e g i e s of female p a t i e n t s w i th one of th ree d i a g n o s t i c c o n d i t i o n s ; pan ic d i s o r d e r , s imple pan ic and no p a n i c . Respondents used the r e v i s e d Ways of Coping C h e c k l i s t ( V i t a l i a n o , Russo, C a r r , Mai uro, & Becker , 1985) to focus on a pr imary s t r e s s o r in t h e i r l i f e and to i d e n t i f y the ways in which they coped w i th the s t r e s s o r . F ive s t r e s s o r c a t e g o r i e s were s tud ied w i t h i n each group: f a m i l y , p h y s i c a l h e a l t h , p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h , f i n a n c e s , and work. The authors found no d i f f e r e n c e s across s t r e s s o r ca tego r i es w i t h i n each d i a g n o s t i c group i n the use of problem-focused and w i sh fu l t h i n k i n g coping s t r a t e g i e s . Folkman, Lazarus , Gruen et a l . (1986) found tha t the e igh t s c a l e s of the 66- i tem r e v i s e d Ways of Coping C h e c k l i s t (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985) were more s t a b l e than a p p r a i s a l v a r i a b l e s across d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s o r s i t u a t i o n s . Mean a u t o c o r r e l a t i o n s ranged from .17 to .47 across d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s o r even ts . Three coping s c a l e s ; seek ing s o c i a l suppor t , c o n f r o n t a t i v e cop ing , and p l a n f u l problem s o l v i n g , had the lowest a u t o c o r r e l a t i o n s and were a l l forms of problem-focused cop ing . The researchers concluded tha t these problem-focused forms of coping may be i n f l u e n c e d by the s i t u a t i o n a l con tex t . P o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l , a form of emot ion- focused cop ing , had the h ighes t mean a u t o c o r r e l a t i o n ( .47 ) . The authors suggested tha t emot ion-focused forms of coping may be i n f l uenced by more s t a b l e p e r s o n a l i t y f a c t o r s . These r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e tha t c e r t a i n types of coping may be s t a b l e across s i t u a t i o n s , whereas o ther forms of coping are more v a r i a b l e . The authors suggest tha t there has 13 to be some s t a b i l i t y i n coping processes f o r them to have an e f f e c t on impor tant outcomes l i k e p h y s i c a l h e a l t h , or p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g . A d d i t i o n a l work by Bo lger (1990) suppor ts the au tho rs ' conc lus ions by demonstrat ing tha t c e r t a i n aspects of p e r s o n a l i t y ( i . e . , neu ro t i c i sm) i n f l u e n c e s the coping s t r a t e g i e s i n d i v i d u a l s s e l e c t dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the author found tha t h i g h - n e u r o t i c i s m pre-medica l s tudents engaged in s i g n i f i c a n t l y more w i sh fu l t h i n k i n g and s e l f - b l a m e , than those pre-medica l s tudents low in n e u r o t i c i s m . F i n a l l y , Ca rve r , S c h e i e r , and Weintraub (1989) p rov ide a novel approach to the assessment of coping tha t may shed f u r t h e r l i g h t on the complex i ssue of coping cons i s tency and v a r i a b i l i t y . The authors argue tha t past researchers have adopted two opposing v iews : (a) tha t an i n d i v i d u a l ' s ways of coping are i n t r i n s i c a l l y t i e d to p e r s o n a l i t y d i f f e r e n c e s (McCrae, 1982), or (b) tha t coping i s determined not by p e r s o n a l i t y v a r i a b l e s but by the i n t e r p l a y between a person and the environment (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980, 1985). In deve lop ing a new measure o f cop ing , the COPE s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989), the authors suggest tha t people tend to adopt c e r t a i n coping t a c t i c s tha t are used r e l a t i v e l y c o n s i s t e n t l y across a range of s i t u a t i o n s . These pre fe rences may o r i g i n a t e from p e r s o n a l i t y d i f f e r e n c e s , but may a l s o develop f o r o ther reasons ( e . g . , through l e a r n i n g from past e x p e r i e n c e ) . The 52- i tem COPE s c a l e has been developed to assess both p re fe r red coping s t y l e s , as we l l as s i t u a t i o n a l coping responses depending on the needs of the r e s e a r c h e r . 14 In summary, the i ssue of coping cons i s t ency or v a r i a b i l i t y con t inues to be an ongoing p u r s u i t i n coping r e s e a r c h . In the pas t , the emphasis had been on the changing nature of coping as par t of an i n t e r a c t i o n between the person and the environment. Recent e m p i r i c a l ev idence suggests tha t the nature of coping i s more complex. The development of a s c a l e f o r assess i ng both p r o c e s s - o r i e n t e d coping and d i s p o s i t i o n a l coping recogn izes that there i s both s t a b i l i t y and change in coping p rocesses . A second i s s u e i n coping measurement concerns ins t ruments tha t attempt to measure the m u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l i t y of coping p rocesses . Al though mu l t i d imens iona l s c a l e s are advantageous in tha t they r e f l e c t the enormous a r ray of coping e f f o r t s tha t people use to deal w i th s t r e s s , they have been c r i t i c i z e d f o r l a c k i n g consensus on which dimensions to i n c l u d e in an ins t rument (Cohen, 1991). The Ways of Coping s c a l e (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), f o r example, d i s t i n g u i s h e s between s t r a t e g i e s of prob lem-focused and emot ion- focused cop ing . The d i s t i n c t i o n between these two f unc t i ons of coping rep resen ts an i n i t i a l s tep i n c l a s s i f y i n g coping behav iours . Some researchers have argued, however, tha t these two ca tego r i es are too broad and s i m p l i s t i c (F le ishman, 1984; Carver et a l . , 1989). Al though coping may serve an emot ion- focused or problem-focused f u n c t i o n , i t i s not s u f f i c i e n t to speak of e i t h e r as i f they were a homogeneous group of thoughts or a c t i o n s . Emot ion- focused cop ing , f o r example, ranges from den ia l of an event to p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of an event . These s t r a t e g i e s are very d i f f e r e n t from each o ther and t h e i r use may r e s u l t i n very d i f f e r e n t outcomes f o r an i n d i v i d u a l . Based on the assumption 15 tha t impor tant d i s t i n c t i o n s may not be v i s i b l e i f d i f f e r e n t s t r a t e g i e s are combined i n t o broader domains, resea rche rs have attempted to examine a l a rge number of coping s t r a t e g i e s (Costa & McCrae, 1989). At p resen t , l i t t l e consensus e x i s t s in the number of d i f f e r e n t ways o f cop ing . Fac to r a n a l y s i s of the Ways of Coping s c a l e , f o r example, has produced 3 separa te coping subsca les or f a c t o r s (Parkes , 1984), 5 f a c t o r s ( V i t a l i a n o et a l . , 1985), 7 f a c t o r s ( S c h e i e r , Weintraub & Carve r , 1986), 8 coping f a c t o r s (Aldwin & Revenson, 1987; Folkman & Lazarus , 1985; Folkman, Lazarus , Dunke l -Sche t t e r , DeLongis & Gruen, 1986) and 28 f a c t o r s (McCrae, 1982). These s t u d i e s d i f f e r in the popu la t i on being s t u d i e d , the type o f s t r e s s o r being i n v e s t i g a t e d and the way in which data were ana l yzed , p o s s i b l y l ead ing to the d i f f e r e n t f a c t o r s t r u c t u r e s . D i f f e r e n t f a c t o r s t r u c t u r e s may a l s o be due to methodo log ica l i s s u e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the p o s s i b l e l i m i t a t i o n of i tems i nc luded in the Ways of Coping s c a l e . The i s s u e of what items to i nc l ude in a mu l t i d imens iona l ins t rument i s f u r t h e r compl ica ted by the method in which items are chosen. In some i n s t a n c e s , cho ice of i tems and s t r a t e g i e s are based on f a c t o r a n a l y s i s of coping i tems, in o ther i ns tances cho i ce of i tems are based on prev ious research or on some t h e o r e t i c a l framework. Whereas some researchers argue tha t theory should guide a s c a l e ' s content and tha t coping e f f o r t s shou ld be determined before sampl ing procedures begin (Carver et a l . , 1989), o ther researchers hold the view tha t i t i s best to sample w ide l y and l e t emp i r i ca l methods determine what coping dimensions are important (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985). The 16 m a j o r i t y of coping s c a l e s have been cons t ruc ted p r i m a r i l y by e m p i r i c a l methods, r e s u l t i n g in l i t t l e consensus as to the how coping should be represented or measured (Aldwin & Revenson, 1987). The Cope s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989) i s one example of a coping ins t rument tha t has been developed us ing two t h e o r e t i c a l models; L a z a r u s ' s model o f s t r e s s and coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) and a model o f s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n (Carver & S c h e i e r , 1983, 1985) . I t at tempts to overcome some of the ambigui ty in items present i n e x i s t i n g coping s c a l e s , as we l l as expanding on p o t e n t i a l coping responses tha t may be found under the broader domains of problem- and emot ion- focused cop ing . For example, a l though the Ways of Coping inst rument i nc l udes the s c a l e , p l a n f u l p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g , the COPE inst rument i nc l udes a c t i v e cop ing , p l a n n i n g , suppress ion of competing a c t i v i t i e s , and r e s t r a i n t coping as d i s t i n c t s c a l e s rep resen t i ng seve ra l a c t i v i t i e s tha t cou ld f a l l under the domain, prob lem-focused cop ing . In t h i s way, the COPE s c a l e acknowledges the d i v e r s i t y of coping behaviours a v a i l a b l e to an i n d i v i d u a l i n a s t r e s s f u l encounter . In c o n c l u s i o n , there i s a lack of consensus about how coping i s to be measured in cu r ren t r e s e a r c h . Two important measurement i s sues tha t are f r e q u e n t l y debated i n the coping l i t e r a t u r e concern the degree of cons i s tency or s t a b i l i t y of coping across d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s , and the l e v e l o f g e n e r a l i t y of coping behaviour i nc luded in an ins t rument . Recent emp i r i ca l ev idence suggests tha t some coping s t r a t e g i e s may be more s t a b l e than o t h e r s , and tha t there may be both p r e f e r r e d modes of 17 coping across ep i sodes , and v a r i a t i o n i n coping w i t h i n a s i n g l e ep i sode . Study ing ways of coping in a s p e c i f i c s t r e s s f u l ep i sode , l i k e an adu l t c h i l d ' s d i v o r c e , cou ld p rov ide usefu l i n fo rma t ion about the coping processes tha t mothers employ to deal w i th m a r i t a l c r i s i s . To t h i s end, the COPE s c a l e , as an ins t rument f o r assess ing ways of coping seems app rop r i a te f o r such a s tudy . Coping s t r a t e g i e s . Much debate e x i s t s over whether one s t r a t e g y of coping can be cons idered more adap t i ve than another . Lazarus and Folkman (1984) hold the p o s i t i o n tha t any one coping s t r a t e g y may not be more adapt ive than another because d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s may be used in response to d i f f e r e n t encounters or at d i f f e r e n t t imes . The va lue of a p a r t i c u l a r form of coping should be viewed w i t h i n the contex t o f a s t r e s s f u l ep isode (Folkman, Lazarus , Gruen et a l . , 1986). Recen t l y , t h i s p o s i t i o n has been cha l l enged , as both emp i r i ca l ev idence and theory suppor ts the p o s s i b i l i t y tha t some coping s t r a t e g i e s may be more adapt ive than o t h e r s . Emp i r i ca l ev idence e x i s t s to show tha t c e r t a i n s o r t s of coping s t r a t e g i e s do d i f f e r in t h e i r adapt iveness across va r ious s t r e s s f u l encounters ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1984; Her th , 1990; Moos, Brennan, Fondacaro, & Moos, 1990). B i l l i n g s and Moos (1984) in a sample of 424 men and women en te r i ng t reatment f o r depress ion found tha t coping responses d i r e c t e d toward p rob lem-so l v i ng and a f f e c t i v e r e g u l a t i o n ( e . g . , t r i e d to see the p o s i t i v e s i d e of the s i t u a t i o n , t o l d myse l f th ings tha t helped me f e e l be t t e r ) were a s s o c i a t e d w i th l e s s severe d y s f u n c t i o n , whereas emotional d i scha rge and avoidance s t y l e s of coping were l i n k e d to more s e r i o u s d e p r e s s i o n . The Heal th and D a i l y L i v i n g Form (Moos, C r o n k i t e , B i l l i n g s , & F inney, 1984) was used to assess s t r e s s o r s , cop ing , s o c i a l r esou rces , and p a t i e n t ' s f u n c t i o n i n g . Depress ion s e v e r i t y , phys i ca l symptoms and s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e were eva lua ted as f u n c t i o n i n g c r i t e r i a . In a l a t e r s tudy , Herth (1990) i n v e s t i g a t e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between coping s t y l e and g r i e f r e s o l u t i o n in 75 bereaved spouses, aged 65 to 94. E igh t s p e c i f i c coping s t y l e s were assessed us ing the 60- i tem r e v i s e d J a l o w i e c Coping Sca le ( J a l o w i e c , 1987). The author found that g rea te r use o f evas ive (avo idant a c t i v i t i e s ) , f a t a l i s t i c ( p e s s i m i s t i c approach) , and emotive (exp ress i ve emotions) coping s t y l e s were r e l a t e d to a lower l e v e l o f g r i e f r e s o l u t i o n (rs = - . 6 6 , - . 7 5 and - . 6 8 , r e s p e c t i v e l y ; p_s<.001). The use of o p t i m i s t i c ( p o s i t i v e o u t l o o k ) , c o n f r o n t i v e ( c o n s t r u c t i v e p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g ) , and suppor tant ( suppor t i ve systems) coping s t y l e s were r e l a t e d to b e t t e r g r i e f r e s o l u t i o n (rs = .69 , .75 , and . 55 , r e s p e c t i v e l y , p_s<.001). Moos et a l . (1990) s tud ied the a s s o c i a t i o n between coping responses and outcome i n d i c e s in a sample of 501 prob lem-d r i n k e r s , and 609 nonproblem d r i n k e r s . Coping was assessed us ing the 48- i tem Coping Responses Inventory (Moos, 1988). Respondents s e l e c t e d a recent s t r e s s o r and ra ted t h e i r use of the coping i tems on a 4 -po in t s c a l e from not at a l l (0) to f a i r l y o f ten (3 ) . Outcome i n d i c e s i nc luded p h y s i c a l symptoms, d e p r e s s i o n , s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e and in fo rmat ion on whether the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n was reso l ved or not (4 -po in t L i k e r t s c a l e ) . The authors found tha t p rob lem-dr inkers compared w i th 19 nonprob lem-dr inkers were more l i k e l y to r e l y on c o g n i t i v e avo idance, res igned acceptance, and emotional d i scharge s t r a t e g i e s . Coping responses were s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to f u n c t i o n i n g c r i t e r i a . More r e l i a n c e on c o g n i t i v e avoidance and emotional d i scharge was assoc ia ted wi th more p h y s i c a l symptoms ( rs = .14 and .19 , r e s p e c t i v e l y , p.s<.01) and depress ion ( rs = .18 and . 3 1 , r e s p e c t i v e l y , p_s<.01). Emotional d i scharge was a l s o r e l a t e d to more d r i n k i n g problems (r = .14, p_<.01). In c o n t r a s t , p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l was a s s o c i a t e d w i th l e s s depress ion (r = - . 1 2 , £<.01) and g rea te r s t r e s s o r r e s o l u t i o n (r = .19 , p_<.01). Al though each of the above s tud ies used d i f f e r e n t coping ins t ruments on d i f f e r e n t p o p u l a t i o n s , some common pa t te rns in coping e f f e c t i v e n e s s seems apparent . Coping s t r a t e g i e s that r e s u l t i n exp ress ion of emotion and avoidance or d isengag ing from the s t r e s s o r appear to be ma ladap t i ve , r e s u l t i n g i n l e s s p o s i t i v e outcomes f o r an i n d i v i d u a l . I t may be tha t i n d i v i d u a l s who are h i g h l y rumina t i ve w i l l r e l y on coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t i n c r e a s e emotional arousa l and h inder a c t i v e ways of r e s o l v i n g s t r e s s f u l encounters (Fondacaro & Moos, 1989). In c o n t r a s t , coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t are aimed at r e i n t e r p r e t i n g or r e a p p r a i s i n g the s t r e s s o r in a p o s i t i v e l i g h t and are focused on problem s o l v i n g are more adap t i ve . These coping s t r a t e g i e s r e s u l t i n more p o s i t i v e outcomes f o r an i n d i v i d u a l . P o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l appears to be an important coping s t r a t e g y i n tha t i t may f a c i l i t a t e adjustment by changing the meaning of a s t r e s s f u l encounter and an i n d i v i d u a l ' s appra ised op t ions f o r coping w i th the event . 20 Support r e l a t e d coping s t r a t e g i e s appear more ambiguous. Al though Herth (1990) found a suppor tant coping s t y l e to be p o s i t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th g r i e f r e s o l u t i o n among bereaved spouses, Moos et a l . (1990) found seek ing support to be a s s o c i a t e d w i th poor outcome measures among p rob lem-d r i nke r s . These d i f f e r e n c e s in adjustment outcomes r e l a t e d to suppo r t i ve coping s t r a t e g i e s may be assoc ia ted wi th the f a c t tha t d i f f e r e n t measures were used to assess support as a coping s t r a t e g y . In H e r t h ' s s tudy , seek ing support was measured us ing the Ja low iec Coping Sca le ( J a l o w i e c , 1987), whereas in Moos et a l . ' s r e s e a r c h , support coping was assessed us ing the Coping Responses Inventory (Moos, 1988). I t i s a l so p o s s i b l e tha t seek ing support may be b e n e f i c i a l dur ing c e r t a i n s t r e s s f u l even ts , l i k e bereavement, and not b e n e f i c i a l dur ing o t h e r s . The e m p i r i c a l ev idence presented suggests tha t a c e r t a i n se t o f coping s t r a t e g i e s i s more adapt ive than another . I n d i r e c t ev idence tha t one group of coping s t r a t e g i e s ( i . e . , p rob lem- focused , p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l ) may be more adapt ive than another ( i . e . , emotional d i s c h a r g e , disengagement) comes from research tha t has looked at c o r r e l a t i o n s among d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s . Sche ie r et a l . (1986) used the Ways of Coping s c a l e (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985) in a study of 181 male and 110 female undergraduates. Problem-focused coping showed p o s i t i v e low c o r r e l a t i o n s w i th seek ing of s o c i a l support and wi th p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l ( rs(283) = .15 and .19 r e s p e c t i v e l y , p_s<.05); Disengagement and express ion of f e e l i n g s showed p o s i t i v e low c o r r e l a t i o n s w i th each o ther ( r (98) = .24 , rj<.002). Both disengagement and express ion of f e e l i n g s were a l s o n e g a t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i th problem-focused cop ing . Carver et a l . (1989) i n deve lop ing the COPE s c a l e and a d m i n i s t e r i n g i t to 978 undergraduates in group s e s s i o n s , a l s o found no tab le p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s between a c t i v e cop ing , p l a n n i n g , p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and seek ing s o c i a l support ( rs from .17 to .69 , JD<.01) . A second c l u s t e r ; d e n i a l , behav io ra l disengagement, mental disengagement and focus ing on and ven t ing emotions were a l l moderate ly i n t e r c o r r e l a t e d (rs from .22 to .45 , p_s<.01). Both c o r r e l a t i o n a l and emp i r i ca l s t ud i es have d i r e c t e d a t t e n t i o n toward the ex i s t ence of pa t te rns of a s s o c i a t i o n s among c e r t a i n coping s t r a t e g i e s . F i n a l l y , theory a l s o p lays a par t in p r o v i d i n g g rea te r understanding and support f o r the presence of s p e c i f i c pa t te rns of f u n c t i o n a l l y s i m i l a r coping e f f o r t s . T h e o r e t i c a l l y these a s s o c i a t i o n s f i t w i th c e r t a i n aspects of Carver and S c h e i e r ' s (1983, 1985) s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n model . B r i e f l y , t h i s model holds tha t a pe rson ' s s e l f - f o c u s dur ing a s t r e s s f u l event leads to comparisons between present behaviour and whatever goal or s tandard i s s a l i e n t to the s i t u a t i o n . In a t tempt ing to match one 's behaviour w i th a g o a l , a v a r i e t y of c o n d i t i o n s can i n t e r r u p t the process ( e . g . , r i s i n g a n x i e t y , d i f f i c u l t y in t a s k ) . The i n t e r r u p t i o n of one 's e f f o r t s leads to an assessment about the l i k e l i h o o d of being ab le to meet the g o a l . I f a pe rson ' s expectancy i s un favorab le ( i . e . , I'm a n t i c i p a t i n g f a i l u r e ) the r e s u l t i s wi thdrawing from f u r t h e r a t tempts . Often s o c i a l or temporal c o n s t r a i n t s do not a l l ow an i n d i v i d u a l to withdraw p h y s i c a l l y , t he re fo re mental wi thdrawal 22 or disengagement occu rs . I f one 's expectancy i s f a v o r a b l e , the r e s u l t i s i nc reased e f f o r t s to reach the g o a l . Carver and S c h e i e r ' s model i s compat ib le w i th Bandura 's (1977) work on s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n , e f f i c a c y , and outcome e x p e c t a n c i e s , w i th some d i f f e r e n c e s e x i s t i n g in conceptual te rmino logy between the two behav io ra l approaches. In app l y ing the s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n model to cop ing , Sche ie r et a l . (1986) p o s i t tha t f ocus ing on one 's emotional d i s t r e s s may lead to a n t i c i p a t i o n s of negat ive outcomes in a s t r e s s f u l encounter . These un favorab le expec tanc ies (or negat i ve c o g n i t i o n s ) tend to lead a person to disengage or withdraw from a s t r e s s f u l event . Converse ly , f ocus ing on p o s i t i v e aspects of a s t r e s s f u l event should encourage p o s i t i v e outcome e x p e c t a n c i e s . Favorab le expec tanc ies lead to more a c t i v e p rob lem-so l v i ng forms of cop ing . T h e o r e t i c a l l y , disengagement and focus ing on one 's emotional d i s t r e s s are i n o p p o s i t i o n to a c t i v e coping and p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l . In sum, both research and theory p rov ide support f o r the e x i s t e n c e of two pa t te rns of a s s o c i a t i o n s among coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t occur across s i t u a t i o n s : s p e c i f i c a l l y a c t i v e coping and p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l , and disengagement and focus ing on and ven t ing one 's emot ions. The former appears to be more adap t i ve i n reduc ing or managing p s y c h o l o g i c a l or somat ic symptoms dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter , whereas the l a t t e r i s more o f ten a s s o c i a t e d wi th poorer adjustment outcomes. Seeking s o c i a l support has a l s o been a s s o c i a t e d w i th a c t i v e coping and p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l i n both c o r r e l a t i o n a l and e m p i r i c a l s t u d i e s , however the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of i t s r o l e remains 23 u n c e r t a i n . Carver et a l . (1989) found tha t seek ing s o c i a l support was a s s o c i a t e d wi th both coping s t r a t e g i e s ; a c t i v e cop ing , and focus on and ven t ing emot ions. The authors concluded tha t the i n c l i n a t i o n to seek out s o c i a l support may be both good and bad depending on the presence of o ther coping p r o c e s s e s . Coping w i th M a r i t a l S t ress and D ivorce Al though pa t te rns of a s s o c i a t i o n s between d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s appears to be f a i r l y c o n s i s t e n t across d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s f u l ep i sodes , i t i s important to cons ide r whether these a s s o c i a t i o n s hold t rue f o r s t r e s s o r s in the f am i l y arena, p a r t i c u l a r l y m a r i t a l and d i vo rce r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r s . Severa l s t u d i e s have attempted to look at the ways in which couples cope wi th m a r i t a l s t r e s s and coping (II f i e l d , 1980; Menaghan, 1982; P e a r l i n & Schoo le r , 1978; Whif fen & G o t l i b , 1989). Th is i n t e r e s t i n m a r i t a l s t r e s s and coping has been sparked l a r g e l y by the dramat ic i nc rease i n d i vo rce ra tes over the l a s t decade (Hagestad, Smyer, & S t ie rman, 1980). Fo l l ow ing the rev iew of each s tudy , p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n w i l l be g iven to measurement i s s u e s and to the p o s s i b l e ex i s t ence of pa t te rns of a s s o c i a t i o n s between d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s . P e a r l i n and Schoo le r (1978) in te rv iewed 2,300 people between the ages of 18 and 65. Respondents were asked the f o l l o w i n g : (a) to i d e n t i f y p o t e n t i a l l i f e s t r a i n s , (b) to i d e n t i f y the coping r e p e r t o i r e s they used in d e a l i n g w i th the s t r a i n s , (c) to express the ex tent to which they exper ience depress ion and a n x i e t y . S t r a i n s were i d e n t i f i e d in the areas of mar r iage , p a r e n t i n g , occupa t i on , and home. The researchers 24 found tha t each of s i x coping f a c t o r s ( s e l f - r e l i a n c e versus adv ice s e e k i n g , c o n t r o l l e d r e f l e c t i v e n e s s versus emotional d i s c h a r g e , p o s i t i v e compar ison, n e g o t i a t i o n , s e l f - a s s e r t a t i o n versus pass i ve fo rbearance , and low s e l e c t i v e i gno r ing ) had a s i g n i f i c a n t independent e f f e c t i n reduc ing f e l t emotional d i s t r e s s . The most e f f e c t i v e responses in marr iage were those tha t were absent of avoidance or w i t hd rawa l . For example, the r e f l e c t i v e prob ing of a problem ra the r than emotional d i scharge was among the more e f f e c t i v e responses . II f i e l d (1980) i n v e s t i g a t e d 1591 marr ied adu l t s us ing an i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n n a i r e to assess coping and ch ron i c m a r i t a l s t r e s s . Sub jec ts were asked to respond to a m a r i t a l s t r e s s o r s c a l e , a depress ion s c a l e and a s e r i e s of ques t ions on coping s t y l e s . Four coping s t y l e s were assessed : r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n -r e s i g n a t i o n ( e . g . , keep so busy you d o n ' t have t ime to t h i n k ) , seek ing ou t s i de help ( e . g . , have you asked f o r the adv ice of a f r i e n d ) , o p t i m i s t i c a c t i o n ( e . g . , t r y to f i n d a f a i r compromise), and ongoing c o n f l i c t ( e . g . , y e l l or shout to l e t o f f s team). Whereas ch ron i c s t r a i n in the m a r i t a l r o l e was r e l a t e d to the use of s t r a t e g i e s i n v o l v i n g avoidance and c o n f l i c t , the one coping s t y l e most p r e d i c t i v e of low m a r i t a l s t r e s s was o p t i m i s t i c a c t i o n (r = - . 3 1 , p_<.01). O p t i m i s t i c a c t i o n i nvo l ved two aspects of cop ing ; having a hopeful and p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e about the mar r iage , and t ak i ng a c t i o n aimed at problem s o l v i n g . A study by Menaghan (1982) inc luded 758 adu l t s from a panel study of 1,106 adu l t s i n te rv iewed in 1972 and 1976. Four m a r i t a l s t r a t e g i e s were examined f o r e f f e c t i v e n e s s on ongoing 25 m a r i t a l d i s t r e s s and i n i t i a l and l a t e r m a r i t a l problems. These four s t r a t e g i e s i n c l u d e d : (a) attempts at n e g o t i a t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n , (b) o p t i m i s t i c comparisons of one ' s s i t u a t i o n r e l a t i v e to the past and to one 's peers , (c) s e l e c t i v e i n a t t e n t i o n to unpleasant aspects and heightened a t t e n t i o n to p o s i t i v e f ea tu res of the s i t u a t i o n , and (d) a consc ious suppress ion of f e e l i n g and wi thdrawal from i n t e r a c t i o n . The f i r s t two coping s t r a t e g i e s are s i m i l a r to Folkman and L a z a r u s ' s (1980) prob lem-focused and r e a p p r a i s a l e f f o r t s . The l a s t two coping s t r a t e g i e s i nvo l ve emotion-managing behaviour (Menaghan, 1982). Resu l t s showed tha t the two coping e f f o r t s , s e l e c t i v e i n a t t e n t i o n and wi thdrawal s i g n i f i c a n t l y i nc reased ongoing d i s t r e s s . Nego t i a t i on d id not reduce f e e l i n g s of d i s t r e s s but was e f f e c t i v e in reduc ing l a t e r problems. O p t i m i s t i c comparison was found to have d i r e c t e f f e c t s on both d i s t r e s s and l a t e r problems. F i n a l l y , coping research by Whif fen and G o t l i b (1989) on m a r i t a l l y d i s t r e s s e d and nond is t ressed couples a l s o sheds l i g h t on the ways i n d i v i d u a l s cope wi th m a r i t a l s t r e s s . Respondents were asked to desc r i be the most s t r e s s f u l event they exper ienced dur ing the past month and complete the 67- i tem r e v i s e d Ways of Coping C h e c k l i s t (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985). M a r i t a l d i s t r e s s was assessed us ing the Dyadic Adjustment Sca le (Span ie r , 1976). The resea rche rs found tha t husbands' m a r i t a l d i s t r e s s was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to both husband and w i v e s ' use of escape-avo idance , s e l f - c o n t r o l , and accep t ing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Accep t ing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y c o n s i s t e d of i tems l i k e " c r i t i z e d or l e c t u r e d m y s e l f " , " r e a l i z e d I brought the problem on m y s e l f " . S e l f - c o n t r o l i tems inc luded "I t r i e d to keep my f e e l i n g s to m y s e l f " , "I went over in my mind what I would say or d o " . Non-d i s t r e s s e d wives repor ted us ing l e s s s e l f - c o n t r o l and seek ing more s o c i a l support than d i s t r e s s e d wives and a l l the husbands. There are severa l methodolog ica l d i f f e r e n c e s between the four s t u d i e s p r e v i o u s l y reviewed tha t are important to c o n s i d e r . In Pear l i n and S c h o o l e r ' s (1978) study the ques t ions aimed at e l i c i t i n g the day- to -day f e e l i n g s of people i n t h e i r r o l e s as paren t , husband, w i f e , and worker were very g e n e r a l . Respondents were asked how they u s u a l l y coped w i th general l i f e s t r a i n s , not the ways they a c t u a l l y coped in a s p e c i f i c s t r e s s f u l event . I l f i e l d (1980) and Menaghan (1982) a l s o used more general ques t ions to focus on the ways i n d i v i d u a l s cope w i th ch ron i c d i f f i c u l t i e s . In c o n t r a s t , Whi f fen and G o t l i b (1989) had sub jec t s i n d i c a t e the ways i n which they coped wi th a s p e c i f i c s t r e s s f u l event . Sub jec ts were f r ee to nominate e i t h e r an acute or ch ron i c s t r e s s o r . Whereas I l f i e l d (1980) and Menaghan (1982) focused on the ways i n which i n d i v i d u a l s cope wi th m a r i t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , Whi f fen and G o t l i b (1989) examined the coping process of m a r i t a l l y d i s t r e s s e d couples who were asked to nominate any s t r e s s f u l l i f e event , not n e c e s s a r i l y r e l a t e d to mar r iage , tha t had occur red in the l a s t month. Couples p a r t i c i p a t i n g in the l a t t e r study were s e l e c t e d from a sample of women and t h e i r husbands who were i nvo l ved in a study of adjustment dur ing pregnancy. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to a s c e r t a i n whether the f i n d i n g s may r e f l e c t some aspect of pregnancy and not of m a r i t a l d i s t r e s s . For example, the researchers repo r t tha t wives 27 exper ienced h igher l e v e l s of s t r e s s and repor ted t h e i r l i v e s as l e s s c o n t r o l l a b l e and more overwhelming than t h e i r husbands. I t i s p l a u s i b l e tha t the c o n d i t i o n of being pregnant i s more s t r e s s f u l f o r w i ves , not tha t they are more overwhelmed by l i f e events i n g e n e r a l . There appears to be some s i m i l a r i t i e s across the s t ud ies reviewed in the use of d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s . P e a r l i n and Schoo le r (1978) found tha t the e f f e c t i v e m a r i t a l coper used o p t i m i s t i c comparisons to i n t e r p r e t h i s or her s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n more p o s i t i v e l y , and took a c t i o n through n e g o t i a t i o n to t r y and change the s i t u a t i o n . I I f i e l d (1980) a l s o found that o p t i m i s t i c a c t i o n , a combinat ion of p o s i t i v e assessment and a c t i o n aimed at p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g , was p r e d i c t i v e of low m a r i t a l s t r e s s . In Menaghan's (1982) s tudy , o p t i m i s t i c comparison was d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to lowered d i s t r e s s and fewer l a t e r problems. A c t i v e attempts at n e g o t i a t i o n were on ly e f f e c t i v e in reduc ing l a t e r m a r i t a l problems. Whereas o p t i m i s t i c comparison appears to be an important coping s t r a t e g y i n f a c i l i t a t i n g adjustment across a l l th ree s t u d i e s , the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of d i r e c t a c t i o n coping i s not as c l e a r . One p o s s i b i l i t y cou ld be tha t c e r t a i n coping s t r a t e g i e s may be r e l a t e d to t ime. Al though o p t i m i s t i c comparison i s a s s o c i a t e d wi th b e t t e r outcomes i n the e a r l y s tages o f cop ing , d i r e c t a c t i o n may be more e f f e c t i v e in the l a t e r s tages of cop ing . A d d i t i o n a l l o n g i t u d i n a l research would he lp to shed l i g h t on the use of coping s t r a t e g i e s and adjustment over t ime. Research work by Lohr, Essex, and K l e i n (1988) on coping responses among o l d e r women may a l s o add to our understanding 28 about the u n c e r t a i n t y sur round ing the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f d i r e c t a c t i o n cop ing . These researchers found tha t p o s i t i v e comparisons lowered repor ted l e v e l s of f u n c t i o n a l impairment and r a i s e d s u b j e c t i v e hea l th assessments and l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n l e v e l s . D i r e c t a c t i o n coping had no e f f e c t on l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n or on hea l th s ta tus i n d i c e s . Whereas p o s i t i v e comparison appears to be p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e in s i t u a t i o n s tha t are conducive to mod i f i ed meaning, the researchers suggest tha t d i r e c t a c t i o n coping may not be as e f f e c t i v e i n s t r e s s f u l encounters tha t are not amenable to change. Environmental v a r i a b l e s , l i k e appra ised c h a n g e a b i l i t y or pe rce ived c o n t r o l , p lay an impor tant r o l e in the person-envi ronment t r a n s a c t i o n (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) and can a f f e c t ones cho ice of coping responses . Taking d i r e c t a c t i o n by n e g o t i a t i n g i n a m a r i t a l s e t t i n g may not i n i t i a l l y be perce ived as change i n d u c i n g , e s p e c i a l l y i f coopera t ion from a par tne r i s not fo r thcoming . In a d d i t i o n , o p t i m i s t i c a p p r a i s a l s may reduce f e e l i n g s of t h rea t and f r u s t r a t i o n , thus genera t ing p o s i t i v e e x p e c t a n c i e s , which may lead to l a t e r attempts at a l t e r e d behav iour . Carver and S c h e i e r ' s (1983, 1985) model of s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n would suggest t ha t t h i s may be so . Thus f a r the s t ud ies reviewed on coping and m a r i t a l s t r e s s have prov ided i n s i g h t i n t o general pa t te rns of coping responses tha t are a s s o c i a t e d w i th p o s i t i v e outcomes. There are a l s o some s i m i l a r i t i e s across the s t ud ies wi th respec t to coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t are not e f f e c t i v e in reduc ing p s y c h o l o g i c a l symptoms. Pear l i n and Schoo le r (1978) found tha t i n e f f e c t i v e m a r i t a l copers used emotional d i s c h a r g e , s e l e c t i v e i g n o r i n g of 29 problems, and pass i ve endurance coping s t r a t e g i e s . They a l s o d id not seek help or adv ice from o t h e r s . Menaghan (1982) found tha t s e l e c t i v e i g n o r i n g , and suppress ion of f e e l i n g and wi thdrawal from i n t e r a c t i o n was a s s o c i a t e d w i th ongoing d i s t r e s s and problems. I I f i e l d (1980) found d i s t r e s s to be r e l a t e d to s t r a t e g i e s i n v o l v i n g avoidance and c o n f l i c t , s p e c i f i c a l l y r e s i g n a t i o n and express ion of emot ions. S i m i l a r l y , Whif fen and G o t l i b (1989) repor ted husband-d is t ressed couples used more escape-avo idance and accep t ing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ( se l f - b l ame) than couples in which husbands were not d i s t r e s s e d . The general pa t te rn of f i n d i n g s suggest tha t wi thdrawing or avo id ing the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n i s not e f f e c t i v e i n a i d i n g adjustment to m a r i t a l s t r e s s . Some aspect of f ocus ing on one 's emot ions, e i t h e r by a t tempt ing to suppress them or by exp ress ing them a l so appears to be i n e f f e c t i v e . Th is f i n d i n g i s supported by Berman and T u r k ' s (1981) i n v e s t i g a t i o n on the r o l e of coping s t r a t e g i e s i n med ia t ing d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d d i s t r e s s . Al though the researchers d id not look s p e c i f i c a l l y at wi thdrawal or avoidance as coping s t r a t e g i e s , they d id i n v e s t i g a t e exp ress ing emot ions. Express ing f e e l i n g s was r e l a t e d to high mood d i s tu rbance and low l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n among 65 female and 25 male d i vo rced v o l u n t e e r s . Fur ther understanding about why express ion of emotion may not be b e n e f i c i a l needs to be exp lo red in l i g h t of the f a c t tha t there i s c o n s i s t e n t research that suggests tha t f r ee express ion of emotions dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter i s b e n e f i c i a l (see rev iew by S i l v e r and Wortman, 1980). Th is appears to be i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n to the s t u d i e s tha t were reviewed e a r l i e r . A 30 c l o s e r look at Carver and S c h e i e r ' s (1983, 1985) s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n model may help to shed some l i g h t on t h i s i s s u e . Accord ing to these au tho rs , i t i s a pe rson ' s con t i nua l s e l f - f o c u s on h i s or her emotions tha t leads to an i n e f f e c t i v e response to s t r e s s , not n e c e s s a r i l y the act o f exp ress ing emot ion. In some ins tances the express ion of emotion may lead to decreased i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g s , i n o ther s i t u a t i o n s exp ress ion of emotion may perpetuate ruminat ion about one 's i n a b i l i t y to cope or meet the cha l l enge or g o a l . I t i s the l a t t e r tha t leads to an un favorab le assessment about the l i k e l i h o o d of meeting one 's goal and subsequent wi thdrawal from f u r t h e r a c t i o n . Al though research on coping and m a r i t a l s t r e s s may be f a i r l y l i m i t e d in scope, even l e s s i s known about the coping s t r a t e g i e s of parents who are expe r i enc ing the sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e of an adu l t c h i l d . Only one study has s p e c i f i c a l l y addressed t h i s i s s u e e m p i r i c a l l y . Pearson (1988), i n an unpubl ished doc to ra l d i s s e r t a t i o n , s tud ied the coping s t r a t e g i e s o l d e r parents use to deal w i th an adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on and the impact of coping on pa ren t s ' p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p h y s i c a l ad justment . A ques t i onna i r e survey was mai led to 43 parents who had an adu l t c h i l d who was m a r i t a l l y separated i n the l a s t th ree y e a r s . Respondents desc r ibed in t h e i r own words the ways they coped w i th t h e i r o f f s p r i n g ' s s e p a r a t i o n , i n a d d i t i o n , they checked o f f a l i s t of 36 coping p r e d i c a t e s . The coping p r e d i c a t e s were der i ved from Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) Ways of Coping s c a l e , and a mod i f ied ve rs i on of the Ways o f Coping used among hosp ice nurses ( C h i r i b o g a , J e n k i n s , & B a i l e y , 1983). Coping responses from the mod i f i ed s c a l e were submit ted to 31 c l u s t e r a n a l y s i s , y i e l d i n g two f a c t o r s ; a c t i v e coping and avo idant cop ing . Paren ta l r e a c t i v e n e s s as a measure of degree of s t r e s s f u l n e s s was determined i n i t i a l l y by paren ta l response to a l i s t o f 19 r e a c t i o n s . Responses to the r e a c t i o n i tems were submit ted to c l u s t e r a n a l y s i s , r e s u l t i n g in a s i n g l e f a c t o r r ep resen t i ng a measure o f r eac t i veness or i n t e n s i t y o f r e a c t i o n s . Adjustment measures inc luded d e p r e s s i o n , phys i ca l symptoms and l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . The authors found tha t the use of avoidance coping was r e l a t e d to lower l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n (r = - . 4 4 , p.<.001) f o r pa ren t s . Avoidance coping was a l s o r e l a t e d to h igher r e a c t i v e n e s s (r = .36 , p_<.01). In c o n s i d e r i n g Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) t r a n s a c t i o n a l model of s t r e s s and cop ing , Pearson suggests tha t parents who use avoidance coping behav iours ( e . g . wished the s i t u a t i o n cou ld go away) may be avo id ing the a p p r a i s a l and coping process a l l toge ther w i th the outcome of l i t t l e decrease in perce ived s t r e s s . Pea rson ' s (1988) f i n d i n g s on the e f f e c t s of coping on paren ta l adjustment need to be viewed wi th cau t i on because seve ra l methodo log ica l problems e x i s t i n the s tudy . F i r s t , i t i s unc lea r from the a u t h o r ' s work why va ry ing sample s i z e s were used f o r each s t a t i s t i c a l r e g r e s s i o n equa t i on , or why numerous m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n s were conducted on such a smal l sample s i z e . Second, the author p rov ides no v a l i d i t y or r e l i a b i l i t y measures on the r e v i s e d coping s c a l e , nor i s i t e x p l i c i t how or why c e r t a i n i tems were chosen from the two e x i s t i n g coping i ns t rumen ts . T h i r d , a l though the author concludes tha t i nc reased a c t i v e coping i s p o s i t i v e l y r e l a t e d to adjustment 32 measures, her s t a t i s t i c a l data as presented in the study does not support such c o n c l u s i o n s . F i n a l l y , i t i s important to note tha t respondents were asked to i n d i c a t e how they coped wi th the m a r i t a l sepa ra t i on in an open-ended response format and then how they coped wi th t h e i r r e a c t i o n to t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on us ing the Ways of Coping ins t rument . I t may be argued tha t f ocus ing on one 's r e a c t i o n s to a s t r e s s o r and focus ing on the ac tua l s t r e s s o r are two d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s , and may not be tapp ing the same source of s t r e s s . S i m i l i a r l y , by ask ing "what s t r a t e g i e s have you used to cope w i th your adu l t c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n " , i t i s not c l e a r which of the many sources of sepa ra t i on - i nduced s t r e s s one i s r e f e r r i n g t o . A number of s e p a r a t i o n - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r s have been i d e n t i f i e d in the l i t e r a t u r e tha t can be p a r t i c u l a r l y upse t t i ng f o r o l d e r pa ren ts : f i n a n c i a l concerns ( G o t t l i e b et a l . , 1988), concern about a g r a n d c h i l d ' s w e l l - b e i n g or l o s s of con tac t ( C h e r l i n & Furs tenberg , 1986; Fr iedman, 1990; S tarbuck , 1989), l o s i n g an important r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th an i n - l a w (Johnson, 1988b), on-go ing f am i l y c o n f l i c t (Hyatt & Kaslow, 1985), f e e l i n g s of he lp l essness (Brown, 1982), and the re tu rn of a separated o f f s p r i n g to the f am i l y home (Okimoto & S t e g a l l , 1987). To understand what i t i s tha t i s being coped w i th r e q u i r e s a move away from g loba l assessments to i s o l a t i n g s p e c i f i c demands of a s t r e s s f u l encounter and assess i ng which s t r a t e g i e s are used to deal w i th the s p e c i f i c demand. For mothers o f m a r i t a l l y - d i s r u p t e d o f f s p r i n g , t h i s would e n t a i l i d e n t i f y i n g what i s s t r e s s f u l about the sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce and the coping s t r a t e g i e s used to manage the desc r i bed s t r e s s o r . 33 In summary, s t u d i e s tha t have focused on coping and m a r i t a l s t r e s s p rov ide f u r t h e r ev idence f o r the p o s s i b l e e x i s t e n c e o f c e r t a i n c l u s t e r s of coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t have d i f f e r e n t adap t i ve f u n c t i o n s . Al though d i f f e r e n c e s e x i s t e d in the ways in which coping was assessed , severa l o f the s t u d i e s reviewed revea led tha t some form of o p t i m i s t i c or p o s i t i v e comparison was r e l a t e d to f avo rab le outcomes. D i r e c t a c t i o n was r e l a t e d to f a v o r a b l e outcomes in most cases , however i t s use may be a f f e c t e d by t ime or by environmental v a r i a b l e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y pe rce ived c h a n g e a b i l i t y i n a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . S t r a t e g i e s tha t are aimed at i gno r i ng or wi thdrawing from a s t r e s s f u l m a r i t a l s i t u a t i o n were r e l a t e d to un favorab le outcomes. As w e l l , f ocus ing on ones emot ions, e i t h e r by suppress ion or ven t ing was a l s o not e f f e c t i v e . The use and e f f e c t i v e n e s s of these s t r a t e g i e s are c o n s i s t e n t w i th elements of Carver and S c h e i e r ' s s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n model . S tud ies focused on parents and d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n are s c a r c e , suggest ing the need f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s on the ways in which mothers cope w i th s t r e s s f u l aspects of a c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n . Determinants of Coping The ways in which an i n d i v i d u a l appra ises a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n i s i n f l u e n c e d not on ly by the nature of the encounter , but a l s o by personal and environmental f a c t o r s (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Both the environmental contex t i n which an event occurs and a pe rson ' s a b i l i t i e s or pe rcep t ions are s i g n i f i c a n t to the study o f coping p rocesses . Whereas personal f a c t o r s are ones which o r i g i n a t e w i t h i n the i n d i v i d u a l , such as s e l f - e s t e e m or perce ived c o n t r o l , environmental f a c t o r s 34 o r i g i n a t e ou t s i de the person, such as s o c i a l support or f am i l y c o n f l i c t . O f ten , personal and environmental v a r i a b l e s are spoken of and measured independent ly of each o the r , ye t i t i s the way in which these v a r i a b l e s i n te rdependen t l y i n f l u e n c e a p p r a i s a l tha t i s of importance (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). A person in a s t r e s s f u l encounter may pe rce i ve something in h i s or her environment tha t i s s i g n i f i c a n t to the i n d i v i d u a l ' s b e l i e f s or c a p a b i l i t i e s , thus i n f l u e n c i n g a p p r a i s a l . For example, having the support of s i g n i f i c a n t o thers dur ing a d i f f i c u l t task may i nc rease a pe rson ' s sense of s e l f - e f f i c a c y or con f i dence , and subsequent ly h i s or her a p p r a i s a l o f the task as a p o t e n t i a l cha l l enge versus a t h r e a t . The f o l l o w i n g i s a rev iew of the personal and environmental v a r i a b l e s of i n t e r e s t to t h i s s tudy . For purposes of d i s c u s s i o n , the v a r i a b l e s are reviewed independent ly w i th the unders tand ing tha t i t i s the interdependence of these f a c t o r s tha t w i l l u l t i m a t e l y be of i n t e r e s t i n de termin ing the ways in which mothers cope wi th d i vo rce in the f a m i l y . The envi ronmental v a r i a b l e , s o c i a l support w i l l be d i scussed wi th p a r t i c u l a r emphasis on cu r ren t problems wi th the d e f i n i t i o n and measurement of t h i s c o n s t r u c t . Next, an overv iew of the l i t e r a t u r e on f am i l y cohes ion , a second environmental v a r i a b l e , w i l l be presented as i t r e l a t e s to coping p rocesses . F i n a l l y , the personal v a r i a b l e perce ived con t ro l w i l l be reviewed wi th p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n pa id to the r e l a t i o n s h i p between perce ived con t r o l and cop ing . 35 Environmental V a r i a b l e s S o c i a l suppor t . One v a r i a b l e which i s b e l i e v e d to a f f e c t a p p r a i s a l and adjustment outcomes i s s o c i a l suppor t . S o c i a l support i n general has been found to p lay an important par t i n d e a l i n g w i th s t r e s s f u l l i f e events f o r o l d e r adu l t s (Cut rona, R u s s e l l , & Rose, 1986; H e l l e r & Mansbach, 1984). Pearson (1988), f o r example, found tha t low l e v e l s of f am i l y support were a s s o c i a t e d w i th more dep ress i ve symptoms i n 43 o l d e r parents of separated adu l t c h i l d r e n (r = - . 3 8 , p_<.01). Fami ly support was assessed as the percentage of f am i l y members l i s t e d in the pe rson ' s support network. Al though the presumed b e n e f i t s of s o c i a l support have been emphasized in s o c i a l support r e s e a r c h , r e c e n t l y i n v e s t i g a t o r s have begun to pay more a t t e n t i o n to the p o s s i b l e negat ive dimension of suppo r t i ve i n t e r a c t i o n s . Too much s o c i a l support may not be h e l p f u l , p a r t i c u l a r l y in c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s where over invo lvement may aggravate or perpetuate problems (Coyne & DeLongis , 1986; Coyne, Wortman, & Lehman, 1988). Th is p e r s p e c t i v e i s supported by Krause (1987d) in a study of 265 o l d e r a d u l t s . He suggests tha t s o c i a l support a f f e c t s p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g by b o l s t e r i n g f e e l i n g s of c o n t r o l . There i s a t h resho ld po in t f o r the b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t s of suppor t , beyond which cont inued support may lead to decreased f e e l i n g s of personal c o n t r o l , dependency, and enmeshment. S o c i a l support has been o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d in d i f f e r e n t ways and resea rche rs have used va r ious inst ruments tha t measure d i f f e r e n t aspects of the s o c i a l support cons t ruc t ( B a r r e r a , 1986; G o t t l i e b , 1981; Turner , F r a n k l , & L e v i n , 1983). Because 36 the nature and measurement of s o c i a l support i s s t i l l being d i spu ted i n research l i t e r a t u r e and l i t t l e consensus e x i s t s about ope ra t i ona l and conceptual d e f i n i t i o n s , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to g e n e r a l i z e f i n d i n g s across s t ud ies tha t use s o c i a l support concep ts . S o c i a l support has been de f ined i n terms of s o c i a l embeddedness, enacted suppor t , and perce ived suppor t , and has been measured by l ook ing at the number of r e l a t i o n s h i p s an i n d i v i d u a l has, an i n d i v i d u a l ' s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i th suppor t , the types or f unc t i ons of suppor t , and the f requency of suppor t i ve behav iours ( B a r r e r a , 1986). Al though a number of dimensions of s o c i a l support have been exp lo red i n the pas t , there appears to be f a i r l y c o n s i s t e n t agreement tha t c e r t a i n dimensions of support are more important as p r e d i c t o r s o f adjustment than o t h e r s . S u b j e c t i v e assessments of s o c i a l support i n g e n e r a l , appear to be more s t r o n g l y a s s o c i a t e d w i th outcome measures than o b j e c t i v e measures, f o r example, s o c i a l network (George, B l a z e r , Hughes, & Fowler , 1989; Schaefer et a l . , 1981; Wethington & K e s s l e r , 1986). I t i s not c l e a r why t h i s i s so , a l though some i n v e s t i g a t o r s b e l i e v e tha t the pe rcep t i on of a v a i l a b l e support may p ro tec t i n d i v i d u a l s from the e f f e c t s of exposure to s t r e s s by media t ing a p p r a i s a l and coping processes ( B a r r e r a , 1986; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). People who appra ise themselves as being r e l i a b l y connected to o thers may be more l i k e l y to cope e f f e c t i v e l y dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter , and thus have a p o s i t i v e hea l th or p s y c h o l o g i c a l outcome (De long i s , Folkman, & Lazarus , 1988). The f a i l u r e of o b j e c t i v e measures of support to p r e d i c t adjustment may be due to d i f f e r e n c e s in s t r e s s s e v e r i t y tha t are 37 not c o n t r o l l e d f o r i n research on s o c i a l support and cop ing . I t may be tha t i n d i v i d u a l s who r e c e i v e s o c i a l support are expe r i enc ing a more severe s t r e s s than those who do not r e c e i v e suppor t . Ba r re ra (1986) found tha t the p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between rece i ved s o c i a l support and measures of p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s t r e s s and p h y s i c a l symptoms approached zero when s t r e s s was he ld cons tan t , i n d i c a t i n g tha t the negat ive e f f e c t s of rece i ved suppor t i s reduced when d i f f e r e n c e s i n s t r e s s s e v e r i t y are c o n t r o l l e d . These f i n d i n g s po in t out the importance of i n c l u d i n g a measure of s t r e s s s e v e r i t y in coping s t u d i e s us ing rece i ved s o c i a l support measures. I t has a l s o been repor ted tha t r ece i ved support may a f f e c t p s y c h o l o g i c a l adjustment i n d i r e c t l y , by b o l s t e r i n g percep t ions of a n t i c i p a t e d support in the f u tu re (Krause, L i a n g , & K e i t h , 1990; Wethington & K e s s l e r , 1986). The a s s o c i a t i o n between s o c i a l support and outcome measures may be even more comp l i ca ted , i n par t because resea rche rs have begun to recogn ize tha t the d i s t i n c t i o n between s u b j e c t i v e and o b j e c t i v e s o c i a l support measures may be too general (George, 1989). Recent s t u d i e s have emphasized the need to d i s t i n g u i s h between m u l t i p l e types of s o c i a l support because c e r t a i n types o f support may be more b e n e f i c i a l i n reduc ing the impact of s t r e s s f u l encounters than o thers (Krause, 1987c; Krause & Mark ides , 1990; W i l l s , 1985). Krause (1987c), f o r example, i n v e s t i g a t e d the e f f e c t s of four types of suppor t ; t a n g i b l e , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , emo t iona l , and i n t e g r a t i o n . These s o c i a l support types were assessed both s u b j e c t i v e l y (support s a t i s f a c t i o n ) and o b j e c t i v e l y ( rece i ved suppo r t ) . The author found tha t a l though s u b j e c t i v e assessments were u s u a l l y more potent p r e d i c t o r s of depressed a f f e c t than o b j e c t i v e measures, there were some e x c e p t i o n s , depending on the type of s o c i a l support i n v e s t i g a t e d . For example, o l d e r adu l t s w i th more rece i ved i n fo rma t i ona l support tended to have lower depressed a f f e c t scores than those i n d i v i d u a l s w i th l e s s i n f o rma t i ona l support (Beta = - . 1 4 2 , p_<.05). S a t i s f a c t i o n wi th i n fo rma t i ona l support was not a s s o c i a t e d wi th depress ive outcomes. Whereas o l d e r a d u l t s w i th more rece i ved emotional support tended to repo r t fewer symptoms of depress ion than respondents w i th l e s s rece i ved support (Beta = - . 1 6 0 , JJ<.05), those i n d i v i d u a l s who were not s a t i s f i e d w i th the amount of emotional support tha t was a v a i l a b l e to them repor ted more p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s t r e s s (Beta = .253 , rj<.001). Such f i n d i n g s suggest the need to examine o b j e c t i v e measures of support tha t d i f f e r e n t i a t e between support type in a study of mothers of d i vo rced or separated adu l t c h i I d r e n . I t i s not known how percep t ions of a v a i l a b l e support a r i s e (Cohen & W i l l s , 1985), and t h i s po in t has lead some researchers to ques t ion the use of s u b j e c t i v e measures of suppor t . Wethington and K e s s l e r (1986) in s tudy ing both rece i ved and pe rce ived suppor t , found on ly low c o r r e l a t i o n s between these two measures of suppor t , i n d i c a t i n g tha t pe rcep t ions of support are not n e c e s s a r i l y determined by support tha t has a c t u a l l y been p r o v i d e d . Sarason, S h e a r i n , P i e r c e , and Sarason (1987) a l s o found low c o r r e l a t i o n s between measures of r ece i ved support and pe rce ived a v a i l a b l e suppor t . Some researchers argue tha t pe rcep t i ons of support are contaminated by depressed a f f e c t and 39 o ther p s y c h o l o g i c a l outcomes (Gore, 1981; Henderson, 1984) and tha t conc lus i ons about s o c i a l support should be r e s t r i c t e d to data based on o b j e c t i v e measures. Other resea rche rs acknowledge the importance and l i m i t a t i o n s of both s u b j e c t i v e and o b j e c t i v e dimensions of support and advocate the use of both dimensions in s tudy ing s o c i a l support ( L i n , 1986; Sarason et a l . , 1987). Most t y p o l o g i e s of s o c i a l support i n c l u d e : emotional suppor t , i n fo rma t ion or c o g n i t i v e suppor t , and ma te r i a l or t a n g i b l e a i d (Cohen & W i l l s , 1985; House, 1981; Krause & Mark ides , 1990; Schaefer et a l . , 1981). These s o c i a l support types have l a r g e l y been measured us ing perce ived or enacted support i ns t rumen ts . Support p rov ided by o thers i s l i k e l y to be g iven when a person faces a s t r e s s f u l encounter . In such a c i r cums tance , a measure of enacted support seems app rop r i a te f o r de termin ing the amount of support tha t has a c t u a l l y been g iven to a person by h i s or her f am i l y or f r i e n d s . Because enacted support measures r e l y on r e t r o s p e c t i v e r e c a l l , they have been de f ined by some researchers as assess ing ' p e r c e i v e d - r e c e i v e d ' support ( B a r r e r a , 1986). Th is l ack of d e f i n i t i o n a l c l a r i t y has lead to the con fus ing of pe rce ived and enacted support terms in research s t u d i e s . For example, Schaefer et a l . (1981) used separate measures to assess t a n g i b l e , emot iona l , and i n fo rma t iona l suppor t . Tang ib le support was assessed by determin ing how o f ten in n ine hypo the t i ca l s i t u a t i o n s there was someone whom respondents cou ld count on to p rov ide t a n g i b l e a s s i s t a n c e . The p a r t i c i p a n t ' s t a n g i b l e score was the number of i n c i d e n t s i n which he or she cou ld count on ins t rumenta l a s s i s t a n c e from another i n d i v i d u a l 40 (a measure of pe rce ived a v a i l a b i l i t y or s u p p o r t ) . For emotional and i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t , respondents were asked to l i s t t h e i r spouse, c l o s e f r i e n d s , r e l a t i v e s , co -workers , neighbours and s u p e r v i s o r s , and ra te each person on the l i s t on the ex ten t to which they prov ided i n fo rma t iona l and emotional support dur ing the l a s t month (a measure of enacted or r ece i ved s u p p o r t ) . The authors r e f e r to a l l th ree of the support i n d i c e s as perce ived suppor t . Th is l ack of d e f i n i t i o n a l c l a r i t y makes i t d i f f i c u l t to compare s t u d i e s p ropo r t i ng to measure d i f f e r e n t types of s o c i a l suppor t . One type of rece i ved s o c i a l support may be more important than another depending on the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n encountered (George, 1989; Krause, 1986, 1987a). For example, Krause (1987a) found tha t o l d e r adu l t s who rece i ved more i n fo rma t i ona l s o c i a l support repor ted fewer dep ress i ve symptoms i n t imes of f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n than those who repor ted r e c e i v i n g l e s s i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t . Tang ib le and emotional support were found to be l e s s e f f e c t i v e when f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n was p resen t . Received s o c i a l support was measured us ing a mod i f i ed v e r s i o n (Krause & Mark ides , 1990) of the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behav iors (Ba r re ra , Sand le r , & Ramsey, 1981). In l i g h t of the p o s s i b i l i t y tha t c e r t a i n types of r ece i ved support may be more important than o ther types in a s t r e s s f u l encounter , i t would be important to assess d i f f e r e n t components of rece i ved support r a t he r than combining support types i n t o a g loba l i n d i c a t o r of support r e c e i v e d . Only a few s t u d i e s have i n v e s t i g a t e d the a s s o c i a t i o n between rece i ved support and coping e f f o r t s . Manne and Zaut ra 41 (1989) i n v e s t i g a t e d the spouse support p rov ided to 103 female p a t i e n t s coping wi th rheumatoid a r t h r i t i s . Received support was assessed us ing 10 s o c i a l support i tems taken from the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behav iors (Bar re ra et a l . , 1981). Sub jec ts were asked to ra te how f r e q u e n t l y these support behav iours occur red in i n t e r a c t i o n s wi th t h e i r spouse ( e . g . , how f r e q u e n t l y was he r i g h t there w i th you in the s t r e s s f u l t i m e s ) . Coping was measured us ing a r e v i s e d v e r s i o n of th ree s c a l e s ( c o g n i t i v e r e s t r u c t u r i n g , i n f o r m a t i o n - s e e k i n g , and w i sh fu l t h i n k i n g ) from the Ways of Coping s c a l e (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980). These s c a l e s were f a c t o r ana l yzed , r e s u l t i n g in two f a c t o r s : c o g n i t i v e r e s t r u c t u r i n g / i n f o r m a t i o n - s e e k i n g , and w i sh fu l t h i n k i n g . The former was cons idered an e f f e c t i v e coping mode, whereas the l a t t e r was cons ide r i n e f f e c t i v e . The authors found tha t the number of suppor t i ve behaviours engaged i n by the s u b j e c t ' s spouse was p o s i t i v e l y assoc ia ted wi th the use of more c o g n i t i v e r e s t r u c t u r i n g and i n f o rma t i on - seek ing coping (r = .43 , j><.001). Husband support was n e g a t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th p s y c h o l o g i c a l maladjustment (r = - . 2 5 , p_<.01). I n t e r e s t i n g l y , spouse c r i t i c i s m , as measured by the number of c r i t i c a l remarks made by a husband dur ing a taped 20 ques t ion i n t e r v i e w , was p o s i t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th the use of w i sh fu l t h i n k i n g (r = .36 , p_<.001). Spouse c r i t i c i s m was a l s o p o s i t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th p s y c h o l o g i c a l maladjustment ( r = .29 , p_<.001). Received s o c i a l support appeared to be he lp fu l i n a s s i s t i n g the p a t i e n t to engage in more e f f e c t i v e cop ing , whereas c r i t i c i s m , a negat ive aspect of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n appeared to promote an i n e f f e c t i v e 42 type of cop ing . These r e s u l t s p rov ide f u r t h e r i n d i c a t i o n tha t s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i s not always b e n e f i c i a l . Dunke l -Sche t t e r , Folkman, and Lazarus (1987) found that d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s were a s s o c i a t e d wi th d i f f e r e n t components of r ece i ved support i n a sample of 150 midd le-aged r e s i d e n t s . Of the e igh t forms of coping assessed us ing the 67-i tem Ways of Coping s c a l e (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), problem-s o l v i n g , seek ing suppor t , and p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l were more c o n s i s t e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th emot iona l , i n f o rma t i ona l and t a n g i b l e suppor t . S p e c i f i c a l l y , the use of p rob lem-so l v i ng coping and seek ing support was a s s o c i a t e d w i th r e c e i v i n g more of a l l th ree types of suppor t . Use of p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l s t r a t e g i e s was a s s o c i a t e d wi th r e c e i v i n g more emotional and i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t , but not a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of t a n g i b l e a s s i s t a n c e . The use of emot ion- focused coping ( d i s t a n c i n g , accep t i ng r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ) was a s s o c i a t e d w i th s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t , and m a r g i n a l l y l e s s a i d and emotional suppor t . The authors po in t out tha t the c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l nature of the study makes i t d i f f i c u l t to determine whether coping e l i c i t s s o c i a l support or i f s o c i a l support i n f l u e n c e s the way a person copes. In summary, s o c i a l support has been o p e r a t i o n a l i z e d and measured in a number of d i f f e r e n t ways. Al though s u b j e c t i v e assessments of support appear to be more s t r o n g l y a s s o c i a t e d w i th adjustment than o b j e c t i v e measures, researchers have begun to recogn ize tha t d i f f e r e n t types of suppor t , measured o b j e c t i v e l y or s u b j e c t i v e l y , may have d i f f e r e n t i a l e f f e c t s on adjustment . Coping s t ud ies i n v e s t i g a t i n g rece i ved support need 43 to con t ro l f o r s t r e s s s e v e r i t y , and i nc l ude measures assess ing d i f f e r e n t components of s o c i a l suppor t . Received s o c i a l support types (emot iona l , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , and t a n g i b l e ) have been a s s o c i a t e d w i th d i f f e r e n t types of coping s t r a t e g i e s . There i s some ev idence to suggest tha t lower l e v e l s of support may be a s s o c i a t e d w i th more emot ion- focused coping s t r a t e g i e s , whereas h igher l e v e l s of support type may be l i n k e d to a c t i v e and r e a p p r a i s a l coping e f f o r t s . Recent ev idence a l s o po in t s to the negat i ve aspects of too much suppor t , which can undermine an i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b i l i t y to a c t . For mothers coping w i th the sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce of an o f f s p r i n g , lower l e v e l s of rece i ved support would l i k e l y lead to g rea te r use of avo idant types of cop ing . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between h igher l e v e l s of r ece i ved support and ways of coping i s c u r r e n t l y u n c l e a r . Cutrona (1990) in i n v e s t i g a t i n g determinants of the type of s o c i a l support most b e n e f i c i a l to s p e c i f i c s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n s proposed an opt imal matching model of s t r e s s and s o c i a l suppor t . S p e c i f i c a l l y she suggests tha t both con t ro l and l i f e domain are impor tant determinants of the type of s o c i a l support i n d i v i d u a l s r e c e i v e . Events tha t are u n c o n t r o l l a b l e w i l l r e q u i r e s o c i a l support components tha t are aimed at m in im iz ing the degree of negat i ve emotion a s s o c i a t e d wi th the s t r e s s f u l encounter . Emotional suppor t , then i s expected to be most e f f e c t i v e f o l l o w i n g u n c o n t r o l l a b l e s t r e s s f u l even ts . In c o n t r a s t , events tha t are pe rce ived as c o n t r o l l a b l e w i l l r e q u i r e s o c i a l supports tha t f o s t e r e f f e c t i v e problem-focused cop ing . Cutrona p r e d i c t s tha t c o n t r o l l a b l e events w i l l r e q u i r e e i t h e r or both i n f o rma t i ona l and t a n g i b l e support components. Because parents 44 o f ten f ee l h e l p l e s s towards an adu l t s c h i l d ' s d i vo r ce (Brown, 1982; G o t t l i e b et a l . , 1988) one might i n f e r tha t emotional support w i l l be a more important s o c i a l support type f o r t h i s popu la t i on than t a n g i b l e or i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t . S i m i l i a r l y , Cutrona p r e d i c t s tha t l o s s e s i n the l i f e domain i n v o l v i n g i n t ima te r e l a t i o n s h i p s or attachments w i l l be a s s o c i a t e d w i th a need f o r emotional support and express ions of c a r i n g , whereas a l o s s of asse ts w i l l be a s s o c i a t e d wi th a need f o r t a n g i b l e suppor t . The l o s s of an i n - l a w , g r a n d c h i l d , or the image of a happy mar r iage , exper iences tha t are t y p i c a l o f mothers of a d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d , suggest the need f o r r e c e i p t o f emotional suppor t . One s o c i a l support c h a r a c t e r i s t i c tha t i s thought to be e s p e c i a l l y r e l evan t to o l d e r adu l t s i s the maintenance o f r e c i p r o c i t y ; the a b i l i t y to p rov ide support to o thers (An tonnuc i , 1985). P r o v i d i n g support to f am i l y or f r i e n d s can have b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t s f o r the help p r o v i d e r , e i t h e r by b o l s t e r i n g h i s or her s e l f - e s t e e m or by d i v e r t i n g a t t e n t i o n towards o thers and away from the i n d i v i d u a l ' s own s t r e s s f u l exper ience (Krause, 1986, 1987b). Excess i ve g i v i n g to o t h e r s , however, can have a negat ive impact on p s y c h o l o g i c a l or somat ic adjustment . Krause (1986), f o r example, found tha t o l d e r adu l t s who prov ided cons ide rab le support to o thers wh i l e coping w i th the death of a f am i l y member exper ienced more dep ress i ve symptoms than those i n d i v i d u a l s who gave l e s s suppor t . I nc l ud ing a measure of r e c i p r o c i t y i n a study of mothers of separated or d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g seems e s p e c i a l l y impor tan t , i n l i g h t of the f a c t tha t most mothers come to t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s 45 a id dur ing the d i vo r ce process (Johnson, 1988a, 1988b). Mothers help w i th tasks l i k e b a b y - s i t t i n g , f i n a n c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , a d v i c e , and emot ional support (G ladstone, 1988; Lesser & Comet, 1987). An inst rument designed by Bar re ra et a l . (1981) attempts to measure the help rece i ved from others by i n c l u d i n g d i f f e r e n t i tems tha t assess the types of suppor t i ve behaviours recogn ized as being impor tan t ; emot iona l , i n fo rma t iona l and t a n g i b l e suppo r t s . Subsequent r e v i s i o n on the o r i g i n a l ins t rument by Krause and Markides (1990) y i e l d e d a four subsca le measure tha t i nc luded the three o r i g i n a l types of suppor t , and an a d d i t i o n a l subsca le to assess support r e c i p r o c i t y . The r e v i s e d s c a l e was designed f o r s p e c i f i c use in s t ud ies examining the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s t r e s s , s o c i a l suppor t , and w e l l - b e i n g in o l d e r a d u l t s . Using the r e v i s e d ins t rument , the authors were ab le to show s i g n i f i c a n t i n t e r a c t i o n s (bs ranging from - . 1 8 to 2 .33 , ]DS<.05) between l e v e l of s o c i a l support type and dep ress i ve symptom i n d i c e s in a community sample of 351 o l d e r adu l t s expe r i enc ing bereavement. Fami ly cohes ion . Another v a r i a b l e of importance to coping processes i s f am i l y cohes ion . Moos and Moos (1986) de f i ne f a m i l y cohesion in terms of the amount of support and commitment f a m i l y members p rov ide to one another . Th is d e f i n i t i o n l i n k s cohes ion to the c o n s t r u c t , s o c i a l suppor t . Indeed, f am i l y cohes ion has been viewed by severa l researchers as a measure of pe rce ived f am i l y support ( F u l l e r & K a r l s o n , 1981; Holahan & Moos, 1985, 1987; Sarason et a l . , 1987). There i s some evidence tha t c l o s e f am i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s between parents and t h e i r adu l t c h i l d r e n f o s t e r a c t i v e coping 46 s t r a t e g i e s aimed at p rov i d i ng support and a s s i s t a n c e to the adu l t c h i l d . C h e r l i n and Furstenberg (1986) conducted a survey of 510 grandparents (446 grandmothers and 64 g rand fa thers ) as par t o f a l a r g e r study on the w e l l - b e i n g of c h i l d r e n dur ing m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n . Respondents were in te rv iewed by te lephone and asked a s e r i e s of ques t ions developed by the au tho rs . The resea rche rs found tha t grandparents who repor ted having a very c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th t h e i r adu l t c h i l d were more o f ten i nvo l ved a c t i v e l y in p rov i d i ng s u b s t a n t i a l amounts of a s s i s t a n c e dur ing and a f t e r the d i vo rce p e r i o d . Johnson (1988) repor ted a s i m i l a r f i n d i n g in an i n t e r v i e w survey of grandmothers. A d d i t i o n a l research tha t i n d i c a t e s tha t f a m i l y cohesion i s an important v a r i a b l e to cons ide r in a study of mothers and separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n , comes from Brown's (1982) work on d i vo r ce and the extended f a m i l y . Based on c l i n i c a l obse rva t i ons and s e l e c t e d i n te r v i ews wi th pa ren ts , the author repor ted tha t parents in c o n f l i c t e d f a m i l i e s in which ongoing f a m i l y i s s u e s remain unreso lved may choose to deny or avo id d e a l i n g w i th t h e i r c h i l d ' s ma r i t a l breakup, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they cannot deal w i th f e e l i n g s of he lp l essness or power lessness . Parents in f a m i l i e s tha t are not c l o s e or suppo r t i ve may choose avo idant ways of coping to deal wi th t h e i r c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l problems. Emp i r i ca l support f o r t h i s view comes from the work of B i l l i n g s and Moos (1982) on f am i l y environments and cop ing . A sample of 267 community f a m i l i e s were assessed on measures of f a m i l y p e r c e p t i o n , cop ing , s t r e s s o r s , and personal f u n c t i o n i n g . Two measures of coping were u t i l i z e d : avoidance cop ing , aimed at avo id ing con f r on t i ng the s t r e s s o r , and problem-focused coping tha t i nc luded attempts to modify the s t r e s s o r ( B i l l i n g s & Moos, 1981). The Fami ly Environment Sca le (Moos & Moos, 1986) was used to assess pe rcep t ions of the f am i l y m i l i e u , s p e c i f i c a l l y cohes ion , c o n f l i c t , and e x p r e s s i v e n e s s . Outcome measures i nc luded th ree i n d i c e s o f f u n c t i o n i n g ; d e p r e s s i o n , p h y s i c a l f u n c t i o n i n g , and s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . The researchers found tha t c o n f l i c t - o r i e n t e d f a m i l i e s w i th low cohesion scores showed the l e a s t use of problem-focused cop ing , whereas wives in c o n f l i c t e d f a m i l i e s repor ted the h ighes t use of avoidance cop ing . In c o n t r a s t , f a m i l i e s who were high on cohesion and express iveness made f requent use of problem-focused coping and l i t t l e use of avoidance cop ing . These f a m i l i e s a l s o repor ted having fewer p h y s i c a l symptoms and l e s s depress ion than t h e i r c o n f l i c t -o r i e n t e d c o u n t e r p a r t s . I t would appear tha t the f a m i l y m i l i e u , p a r t i c u l a r l y the amount of cohesion amongst f am i l y members i s l i n k e d to both coping responses and personal f u n c t i o n i n g . Two a d d i t i o n a l s t ud i es prov ide support f o r the s i g n i f i c a n c e of f am i l y cohesion and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to coping e f f o r t s us ing d i f f e r e n t sample p o p u l a t i o n s . Maynard et a l . (1980) i n v e s t i g a t e d the coping pa t te rns of 42 wives marr ied to p o l i c e o f f i c e r s . Coping was assessed us ing a 58- i tem q u e s t i o n n a i r e ; the Inventory of Coping S t r a t e g i e s , Fami ly and P o l i c e Career Form W (McCubbin, Maynard, & Maynard, 1978). Using the Fami ly Environment Sca le (Moos & Moos, 1986) to examine f am i l y f u n c t i o n i n g , the authors found tha t f am i l y cohesion was p o s i t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th wives e f f o r t s to be s e l f - r e l i a n t and to a c t i v e l y develop themselves as i n d i v i d u a l s ( r = . 43 , p_<.01). Avoidance or den ia l coping s t r a t e g i e s were not assessed i n t h i s s tudy . Hanson et a l . (1989) eva lua ted f am i l y cohes ion , coping s t r a t e g i e s and hea l th outcomes in 135 ado lescen ts w i th i n s u l i n -dependent d iabe tes m e l l i t u s . Fami ly cohesion was assessed us ing the 30- i tem Fami ly A d a p t a b i l i t y and Cohesion Eva lua t i on Sca les (O lson , Po r t ne r , & B e l l , 1982). Coping was determined us ing the 54- i tem Ado lescen t -Cop ing O r i e n t a t i o n f o r Problem Exper iences (Pa t te rson & McCubbin, 1987). Sub jec ts ra ted how o f ten they used each coping behaviour when faced wi th problems or when f e e l i n g tense from 1 ( "never" ) to 5 ("most of the t i m e " ) . Fac to r a n a l y s i s of the inst rument de r i ved a t w o - f a c t o r s o l u t i o n : (a) u t i l i z i n g personal and i n t e r p e r s o n a l r esou rces , (b) v e n t i l a t i o n and avo idance. The authors found tha t high v e n t i l a t i o n and avoidance coping was p red i c t ed by high l i f e s t r e s s and low l e v e l s of f am i l y cohes ion . In l i g h t of the s t ud ies rev iewed, there i s some support to i n d i c a t e tha t low l e v e l s of f am i l y cohesion i s r e l a t e d to the use of coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t avo id the s t r e s s f u l encounter , whereas high f am i l y cohesion may be r e l a t e d to problem s o l v i n g e f f o r t s . S i m i l a r to o ther measures of suppor t , i t may be tha t too much c loseness w i th f am i l y members i s not b e n e f i c i a l . A rev iew of recent f am i l y support l i t e r a t u r e (Coyne, Wortman, & Lehman, 1988) suggests tha t over involvement of f am i l y members in suppor t i ng an i n d i v i d u a l dur ing a s t r e s s f u l event may lead to i nc reased s t r e s s and c o n f l i c t between members, r e s u l t i n g in poor adap ta t i ona l outcomes. Underinvolvement or l ack of support and c a r i n g from f a m i l y members i s e q u a l l y not b e n e f i c i a l . 49 In c o n c l u s i o n , f am i l y cohesion appears to be an important envi ronmental v a r i a b l e to cons ide r in s tudy ing mothers o f d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n because c l o s e f am i l y environments appear to promote support r e c i p r o c i t y and the maintenance o f g randmother -grandch i ld r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Emp i r i ca l research on d i f f e r e n t popu la t i ons suggests tha t low l e v e l s of f am i l y cohesion may be a s s o c i a t e d w i th coping s t r a t e g i e s aimed at avo id ing the s t r e s s o r and exp ress ing emot ion. Al though there i s some ev idence to suggest tha t high l e v e l s of f a m i l y cohesion are a s s o c i a t e d w i th a c t i v e coping e f f o r t s , too much support and over invo lvement by f am i l y members may undermine a pe rson ' s a b i l i t y to take a c t i o n in a s t r e s s f u l encounter . Personal V a r i a b l e Perce ived c o n t r o l . Personal v a r i a b l e s p lay a major r o l e in de termin ing the degree to which a person f e e l s cha l lenged or th reatened i n a s t r e s s f u l encounter , and subsequent ly what coping s t r a t e g i e s he or she uses . The v a r i a b l e , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , has rece i ved a f a i r amount o f a t t e n t i o n in r e l a t i o n to a p p r a i s a l and coping processes (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Pe rce i ved con t ro l r e f e r s to the degree to which an i n d i v i d u a l b e l i e v e s he or she can i n f l u e n c e a p a r t i c u l a r person-environment t r a n s a c t i o n (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). These con t ro l a p p r a i s a l s are r e a l l y products of a pe rson ' s e v a l u a t i o n of a s t r e s s f u l encounter and h i s or her op t ions and a b i l i t i e s to cope wi th such an encounter . From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , s i t u a t i o n a l a p p r a i s a l s of con t r o l are not un re la ted to Carver and S c h e i e r ' s (1983, 1985) concept of f avo rab le and unfavorab le e x p e c t a n c i e s . I f expec tanc ies are s u f f i c i e n t l y f avo rab le ( i . e . , a n t i c i p a t i n g that 50 a p o s i t i v e outcome w i l l occur) the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the i n d i v i d u a l and the environment i s appra ised as ho ld ing the p o t e n t i a l f o r more c o n t r o l . The use of coping s t r a t e g i e s that i n v o l v e a c t i o n s to change some aspect of the s t r e s s f u l ep isode are implemented because the i n d i v i d u a l b e l i e v e s he or she can a c t u a l l y do something in the s i t u a t i o n . In c o n t r a s t , un favorab le expec tanc ies ( i . e . , a n t i c i p a t i n g tha t a negat ive outcome w i l l occur) leads to the r e l a t i o n s h i p being appra ised as l e s s c o n t r o l l a b l e and more f e a r f u l . Coping e f f o r t s aimed at changing one 's emot ions, or b e l i e f s are implemented in order to reduce the f e l t d i s t r e s s r e l a t e d to the encounter . An a s s o c i a t i o n has been e s t a b l i s h e d between percep t ions of con t ro l and the use of emot ion- and problem-focused coping (Folkman, 1984; Folkman & Lazarus , 1980). In g e n e r a l , when a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n i s perce ived as c o n t r o l l a b l e , the use of r e l a t i v e l y more problem focused coping s t r a t e g i e s p r e v a i l . These s t r a t e g i e s are aimed at changing the nature of the s t r e s s f u l event . When a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n i s pe rce ived as u n c o n t r o l l a b l e , r e l a t i v e l y more emot ion- focused coping s t r a t e g i e s are used to change one 's pe rcep t ions of the s i t u a t i o n and to manage emot ions. Most research on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s t r e s s and con t ro l i s founded on the b e l i e f tha t having con t ro l reduces s t r e s s (see rev iew by A v e r i l l , 1973). Ye t , recent s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e tha t b e l i e v i n g tha t an event i s c o n t r o l l a b l e does not always lead to a reduc t i on in s t r e s s (Folkman, 1984; Thompson, 1981). S p e c i f i c a l l y , i t appears tha t e f f e c t i v e adap ta t ion to a s t r e s s f u l event i s r e l a t e d to the match between a p p r a i s a l s of 51 the c o n t r o l l a b i l i t y o f an event and the use of problem- and emot ion- focused coping (Folkman, 1984). The match between perce ived c o n t r o l , coping and adjustment outcomes have been examined in a number of sample popu la t i ons us ing d i f f e r e n t age groups (Compas, Ma lcarne, & Fondacaro, 1988; Forsy the & Compas, 1987). Compas et a l . (1988) f o r example, i n v e s t i g a t e d the pe rcep t ion of a s t r e s s f u l encounter as c o n t r o l l a b l e i n a study of 130 c h i l d r e n and ado lescen ts aged 10 to 14 y e a r s . Cont ro l over an i d e n t i f i e d s t r e s s o r was assessed on a 5 -po in t L i k e r t s c a l e (1 = "complete c o n t r o l " , 5 = "no c o n t r o l " ) . The researchers found tha t d i s t r e s s - r e l a t e d behaviours were g rea tes t when there was a mismatch between pe rce ived con t ro l and problem-focused cop ing . S p e c i f i c a l l y , behaviour problems were h ighes t when sub jec t s b e l i e v e d they had con t ro l over the s t r e s s o r , ye t generated few prob lem-focused s t r a t e g i e s , or when many problem-focused a l t e r n a t i v e s were generated when they be l i eved they d id not have con t ro l over the s t r e s s o r . A d d i t i o n a l work by Forsythe and Compas (1987) p rov ides f u r t h e r ev idence f o r the e v e n t - a p p r a i s a l - c o p i n g match. In a study of 84 c o l l e g e s tuden ts , the authors found tha t the use of r e l a t i v e l y more problem-focused coping was r e l a t e d to lower p s y c h o l o g i c a l symptoms when encounters were perce ived as c o n t r o l l a b l e . The use of these same coping e f f o r t s when i n d i v i d u a l s b e l i e v e d they had l i t t l e con t ro l were a s s o c i a t e d w i th h igher l e v e l s of psycho log i ca l symptoms. The oppos i te was t rue f o r the use of emot ion- focused coping s t r a t e g i e s . These coping e f f o r t s were a s s o c i a t e d wi th lower symptoms in events 52 pe rce ived as l e s s c o n t r o l l a b l e , and h igher symptoms i n events pe rce ived as c o n t r o l l a b l e . C o n t r o l l a b i l i t y over a s t r e s s f u l event was assessed us ing dichotomous r a t i n g s ("I had a great deal o f c o n t r o l " versus "I had very l i t t l e c o n t r o l " ) . Coping was assessed us ing the r e v i s e d Ways of Coping C h e c k l i s t (Folkman & Lazarus , 1985). I t would appear tha t a mismatch between con t ro l a p p r a i s a l s and an i n d i v i d u a l ' s ways of coping are a s s o c i a t e d w i th poorer adjustment outcomes. The coping e f f o r t s used are not e f f e c t i v e i n master ing the s t r e s s f u l encounter . Not a c t i n g in a s i t u a t i o n tha t an i n d i v i d u a l f e e l s he or she can manage or con t r o l may be as s t r e s s f u l as t r y i n g to take a c t i o n to manage a s t r e s s f u l encounter tha t an i n d i v i d u a l f e e l s he or she has l i t t l e con t ro l ove r . Researchers have a l s o s tud ied con t ro l a p p r a i s a l and s p e c i f i c coping s t r a t e g i e s used by i n d i v i d u a l s . Carver et a l . (1989) found tha t the f e e l i n g of being in con t ro l i n a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n showed low c o r r e l a t i o n s wi th three aspects of cop ing ; a c t i v e cop ing , p l ann ing , and p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth ( rs = . 2 1 , .14 , .16 , r e s p e c t i v e l y , p_s<.01). Perce ived con t ro l was n e g a t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d wi th four s t r a t e g i e s ; d e n i a l , focus on and v e n t i l a t i o n of emot ions, behav io ra l disengagement, and mental disengagement (rs = - . 1 9 , - . 1 6 , - . 2 0 , - . 1 2 , r e s p e c t i v e l y , p_s<.01). Perce ived con t ro l over s t r e s s f u l events was measured by a s i n g l e i tem, "When you are under s t r e s s , do you u s u a l l y f e e l . . . " . Respondents choose between four answers to complete the stem, ranging from "you d e f i n i t e l y can do something about the s i t u a t i o n " to "you d e f i n i t e l y can do noth ing 53 about the s i t u a t i o n " . The COPE s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989) was used to assess a d i s p o s i t i o n a l coping s t y l e ( i . e . , what a person u s u a l l y does under s t r e s s ) . The authors d id not examine pe rce ived con t ro l and s i t u a t i o n a l coping e f f o r t s . A s i m i l a r pa t te rn of c o r r e l a t i o n s was found i n the Folkman, Laza rus , Dunke l -Sche t te r et a l . (1986) study on 85 marr ied couples and the perce ived c h a n g e a b i l i t y of a s t r e s s f u l encounter . The c o n s t r u c t , c h a n g e a b i l i t y , has been l i n k e d to pe rce ived c o n t r o l , w i th con t ro l being viewed as a subcategory of the l a r g e r , more general meaning a s s o c i a t e d w i th the cons t ruc t changeable ( V i t a l i a n o , DeWolfe, Maiuro , Russo, & Katon, 1990). Respondents i d e n t i f i e d a s t r e s s o r and i n d i c a t e d on a 5 -po in t L i k e r t s c a l e the ex tent to which the s i t u a t i o n was one " tha t you cou ld change or do something about " , " tha t you had to a c c e p t " , " i n which you needed to know more before you cou ld a c t " , and " i n which you had to hold y o u r s e l f back from doing what you wanted to do" (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980). The authors repor ted tha t a d u l t s used more d i s t a n c i n g and escape avoidance i n encounters they appra ised as having to be accepted, and more p l a n f u l problem s o l v i n g , p o s i t i v e r e a p p r a i s a l and c o n f r o n t i v e coping in encounters appra ised as changeable. Al though s t u d i e s on perce ived con t ro l and coping in mothers of separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n are at present non-e x i s t e n t , P rops t , Pa rd ing ton , Ostrom, and Watkins (1986) d id exp lo re pe rce ived c h a n g e a b i l i t y as a p r e d i c t o r of coping i n 106 d i vo rced s i n g l e mothers. Coping was assessed us ing the Ways of Coping C h e c k l i s t (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980), and c l a s s i f i e d i n t o prob lem-focused and emot ion- focused e f f o r t s . Pe rce i ved 54 c h a n g e a b i l i t y was measured us ing the same format developed by Folkman and Lazarus (1980), and reviewed i n the p rev ious s tudy . The authors found tha t the a p p r a i s a l o f a s p e c i f i c s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n r e l a t e d to the mother 's sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce was not a s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t o r of adjustment. However, most sub jec t s desc r i bed t h e i r s i t u a t i o n as one they had to accept r a t he r than one they cou ld change. Accord ing to past r e s e a r c h , t h i s a p p r a i s a l would tend to lead to the use of more emot ion- focused cop ing . The authors d id f i n d tha t the use of emot ion- focused coping was a much more s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t o r of lower depress ion and a n x i e t y , than was the use of problem-focused cop ing . The use of a more app rop r ia te s t r a t e g y , l i k e emot ion- focused cop ing , when a s i t u a t i o n i s appra ised as unchangeable, should lead to b e t t e r adjustment outcomes (Folkman, 1984). In summary, pe rcep t ions of con t ro l have been c o n s i s t e n t l y l i n k e d w i th d i f f e r e n t coping f u n c t i o n s . Prob lem-focused coping s t r a t e g i e s tend to be used when s i t u a t i o n s are perce ived as c o n t r o l l a b l e , when s i t u a t i o n s seem l e s s c o n t r o l l a b l e , a l t e r n a t e emot ion- focused coping s t r a t e g i e s p r e v a i l . I t i s expected tha t these r e s u l t s would hold t rue f o r mothers of d i vo rced or separated adu l t c h i l d r e n . Summary Accord ing to L a z a r u s ' s t r a n s a c t i o n a l model of s t r e s s and coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), the ex ten t to which a c e r t a i n coping s t r a t e g y i s used depends not on ly on the needs and c a p a b i l i t i e s of the i n d i v i d u a l concerned, but a l s o on envi ronmental resources and c o n s t r a i n t s . Th is study i s concerned w i th the coping e f f o r t s of mothers of separated or 55 d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g , and the i n f l u e n c e of environmental v a r i a b l e s ( s o c i a l support types and f am i l y cohesion) and personal v a r i a b l e s (perce ived c o n t r o l ) as p r e d i c t o r s of coping behav iour . At p resen t , no study has looked at the a s s o c i a t i o n between these va r i ous f a c t o r s and the coping s t r a t e g i e s used by mothers i n coming to terms w i th an adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . Much of the ev idence f o r p o s s i b l e a s s o c i a t i o n s has come from other popu la t i on groups, t y p i c a l l y i n v e s t i g a t i n g an independent v a r i a b l e l i k e perce ived con t ro l i n r e l a t i o n to s p e c i f i c coping s t r a t e g i e s . Al though independent r e l a t i o n s h i p s between personal and envi ronmental v a r i a b l e s and coping prov ide va l uab le i n fo rma t ion on the p o s s i b l e d i r e c t i o n of c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s , none of these s t u d i e s p rov ide in fo rmat ion on how these v a r i a b l e s work i n te rdependen t l y to p r e d i c t the use o f d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s . However, on the bas i s of e x i s t i n g research on separa te p r e d i c t o r s of cop ing , i t i s expected tha t d i f f e r e n t combinat ions of envi ronmental v a r i a b l e s ; emotional suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t , and f am i l y cohes ion , and the personal v a r i a b l e ; pe rce ived c o n t r o l , would c o n t r i b u t e to the use of s p e c i f i c se ts of a c t i v e and avo idant coping s t r a t e g i e s . Hypotheses Hypothes is 1. There i s a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between some or a l l o f the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l support components ( i . e . , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , emo t i ona l , t a n g i b l e ) and c o n t r o l l a b i l i t y , and the c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e ; use of Avo idant cop ing . Avoidant coping c o n s i s t s of the items compr is ing the focus ing on and ven t ing emot ions, behav io ra l disengagement and mental disengagement s u b s c a l e s , from the COPE s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989). Hypothes is 2 . There i s a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between some or a l l o f the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l support components ( i . e . , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , emo t iona l , t a n g i b l e ) and c o n t r o l l a b i l i t y , and the c r i t i e r i o n v a r i a b l e ; use o f A c t i v e cop ing . A c t i v e coping c o n s i s t s of the items compr is ing the a c t i v e cop ing , p l ann ing , and p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth s u b s c a l e s , from the COPE s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989). 57 Method The study employed a survey des ign , i n v o l v i n g a s e l f - r e p o r t q u e s t i o n n a i r e g iven to p a r t i c i p a n t s at one po in t i n t ime. The nature of the study was c o r r e l a t i o n a l , thus a l l o w i n g the resea rche r to exp lo re the r e l a t i o n s h i p between seve ra l p e r s o n a l , and envi ronmental v a r i a b l e s , and two f u n c t i o n a l l y d i f f e r e n t approaches to coping used by mothers expe r i enc ing the sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e of an o f f s p r i n g . Sub.iects The m a j o r i t y of the mothers were s o l i c i t e d v i a p o s t e r s , r a d i o and t e l e v i s i o n announcements, and a r t i c l e s in l o c a l newspapers tha t desc r ibed the study and asked f o r v o l u n t e e r s . These p o t e n t i a l respondents were screened by te lephone (see Appendix A ) . Other mothers were s o l i c i t e d through t a l k s g iven at l o c a l community and re t i rement c e n t r e s , or through personal con tac t w i th a t h i r d p a r t y . These mothers were screened by i n c l u d i n g c r i t e r i a items on the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . E l i g i b l e respondents (N = 84) f o r the study c o n s i s t e d of b i o l o g i c a l mothers of adu l t s who were separated or d i v o r c e d . Mothers were accepted f o r the study a f t e r meeting the f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a : (a) the women were ab le to i d e n t i f y at l e a s t two cu r ren t d i vo r ce or s e p a r a t i o n - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r s , and (b) they scored 2 or above on a s t r e s s f u l L i k e r t s c a l e . See Appendix B f o r sc reen ing q u e s t i o n s . The respondents were p r i m a r i l y Caucas ian , p r o t e s t a n t , and ma r r i ed , w i th an age range of 45 to 78 (M = 6 1 . 2 ) . A t h i r d of the respondents had been d i vo rced in the pas t . Over h a l f had a high school educat ion or l e s s , wh i l e a t h i r d had some u n i v e r s i t y 58 or c o l l e g e . Occupat iona l s t a tus was roughly e q u a l l y d i s t r i b u t e d among homemaker, employed p a r t - or f u l l - t i m e , and r e t i r e d . The m a j o r i t y of respondents had a household income of over 20,000 Canadian per annum, and i d e n t i f i e d themselves as grandmothers. S l i g h t l y more mothers of adu l t daughters p a r t i c i p a t e d , than mothers of adu l t sons. The range of t ime tha t mothers knew of t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce was wide, from 1 month to 348 months, or 29 years (M = 3 9 . 2 ) . Less than one quar te r of the respondents had rece i ved p r o f e s s i o n a l or l ega l counsel f o r the s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r tha t they were e x p e r i e n c i n g . With regards to s t r e s s o r s , 64.3% of the mothers s a i d tha t wor ry ing about t h e i r adu l t c h i l d and h i s or her fu tu re was s t r e s s f u l . Los ing r e l a t i o n s h i p s wi th g randch i l d ren or i n -laws was i d e n t i f i e d by 15.5% of respondents as s t r e s s f u l , wh i l e 6.0% of mothers i n d i c a t e d tha t having c o n f l i c t i n g va lues about the d i v o r c e was s t r e s s f u l . Only 3.6% of mothers i d e n t i f i e d f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n as a major s t r e s s o r . F i n a l l y , 10.7% of mothers i d e n t i f i e d and desc r ibed o ther s t r e s s o r s r e l a t e d to the d i vo rce or sepa ra t i on expe r i ence . These inc luded having concerns about g r a n d c h i l d r e n , l i v i n g at great d i s t ance from adu l t c h i l d r e n , l o s i n g t r u s t in a c h i l d ' s former spouse, and being blamed f o r the d i v o r c e . The demographic makeup of the respondents (see Table 1) were s i m i l a r to Pearson ' s (1988) sample of parents of separated o f f s p r i n g w i th respec t to age, r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n , e t h n i c i t y , and m a r i t a l s t a t u s , however they d i f f e r e d i n having lower educat ion l e v e l s , and h igher household incomes. The sample in the present study was s i m i l i a r to Ahrons and Bowman's (1982) 59 Table 1 Demographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Sample (N=84) C h a r a c t e r i s t i c Percent M SD Md Range Age (n-83) 61.2 7.4 61.0 45-78 Educat ion Less than Gr 12 22.6 High school grad 31.0 Some u n i v e r s i t y / c o l l e g e 31.0 Bache lo rs degree 7.1 Masters degree 7.1 Doctora l degree 1.2 Occupat iona l S ta tus Homemaker 23.8 Employed f u l l - t i m e 22.6 Employed pa r t - t ime 21.4 U n e m p l o y e d / D i s a b i l i t y 1.2 R e t i r e d 28.6 Other 2.4 Income (n=79) Under $10,000 7.6 10,000 to $19,999 10.1 120,000 to S29.999 21.5 130,000 to 1149,999 31.6 150,000 to $100,000 26.6 Over $100,000 2.5 E thn i c Background Caucasian 96.4 Other 3.6 R e l i g i o u s Pre fe rence C a t h o l i c 8.3 P r o t e s t a n t 66.7 None 13.1 Other 11.9 ( t ab le con t i nues ! 60 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c Percent M SD Md Range R e l a t i o n s h i p S ta tus Mar r ied 60.7 L i v i n g w i th par tne r 1.2 Separated 6.0 Divorced 13.1 Widowed 19.0 S e p a r a t i o n / D i v o r c e H i s t o r y Separa ted /D ivo rced 33.3 Never sepa ra ted /d i vo r ced 66.7 Adu l t C h i l d S ta tus Son 45.2 Daughter 54.8 Grandmother S ta tus Grandmother 83.3 Not a grandmother 16.7 Knowledge of S e p a r a t i o n / D i v o r c e Months 39.2 49.0 24.0 1-348 Legal or P r o f e s s i o n a l C o u n s e l l i n g (n=82) Received 24.1 Never rece i ved 75.9 S t r e s s o r Type Worrying about c h i l d 64.3 Los ing r e l a t i o n s h i p s 15.5 F i n a n c i a l s t r a i n 3.6 C o n f l i c t i n g va lues 6.0 Other 10.7 Note. D i f f e r e n t n 's are the r e s u l t of m iss ing d a t a . 61 sample of mothers of d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g wi th respec t to age, percentage of mothers of sons versus mothers of daughters , and t ime s i n c e the c h i l d ' s d i vo rce ( l e s s one year to 24 y e a r s ) , however they d i f f e r e d in having more marr ied respondents , fewer respondents who were widowed, and h igher household incomes. Procedure An anonymous ques t i onna i r e package was d i s t r i b u t e d at community and re t i rement c e n t r e s , or ma i led to i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n the lower ma in land . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e package inc luded i n the f o l l o w i n g o rde r : a cover ing l e t t e r , informed consent i n f o r m a t i o n , demographic q u e s t i o n s , a coping i nven to r y , a s i n g l e i tem con t ro l q u e s t i o n , s o c i a l support and f a m i l y cohesion i n v e n t o r i e s . (See Appendix C f o r cover ing l e t t e r ) . In a d d i t i o n , the l a s t page of the survey inc luded two forms. One form f o r reques t i ng mai led r e s u l t s , a l i s t of s e l f - h e l p resources and/or a mai led r e f e r r a l f o r c o u n s e l l i n g , and a second form i n t r o d u c i n g a l e t t e r tha t respondents cou ld g ive to o ther mothers who might be i n t e r e s t e d i n the study (see Appendix D) . A reminder l e t t e r was mai led to each p o t e n t i a l respondent i f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e was not re turned in 2 weeks. A second, s i m i l a r l e t t e r a long wi th an a d d i t i o n a l q u e s t i o n n a i r e and stamped s e l f -addressed envelope was sent in 4 weeks i f the q u e s t i o n n a i r e was s t i l l not re turned (see Appendix E f o r l e t t e r s ) . D i s t r i b u t i o n and c o l l e c t i o n of ques t i onna i r es took p lace between January 1991 and June 1991. Of the 145 ques t i onna i r es d i s t r i b u t e d or m a i l e d , 103 (71.0%) were completed and re tu rned . Of the 103 re tu rned , 19 (18.4%) were not e l i g i b l e f o r use. Eleven of the ques t i onna i r es were i n c o r r e c t l y or i ncomp le te l y 62 f i l l e d ou t . Seven of the mothers i n d i c a t e d tha t they d id not f i n d t h e i r o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce c u r r e n t l y s t r e s s f u l . One respondent d id not r e s i d e i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The remain ing 84 were cons idered e l i g i b l e and were used i n the a n a l y s i s . See Table 2 f o r breakdown of d i s t r i b u t i o n sources and re tu rn r a t e s . Instruments Demographic i n f o r m a t i o n . A wide range of demographic i n fo rma t ion was gathered i n c l u d i n g age, educa t i on , occupa t i on , income, e t h n i c i t y , r e l i g i o u s p re fe rence , r e l a t i o n s h i p s t a t u s , and p rev ious sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce expe r i ence . In a d d i t i o n , i n fo rma t ion was gathered on grandparent s t a t u s , number of g r a n d c h i l d r e n , degree of c loseness of g randpa ren t / g randch i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p , and custody s t a t u s , (see Appendix F) P r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s . The p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s are c o n t r o l l a b i l i t y , s o c i a l suppor t , and f am i l y cohes ion . Respondents were asked to i d e n t i f y what was most s t r e s s f u l about the d i v o r c e or sepa ra t i on by choosing from a l i s t of f i v e s t r e s s o r s i d e n t i f i e d in the l i t e r a t u r e as being common concerns f o r parents of d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n . These i n c l u d e d : (a) wor ry ing about one 's c h i l d and h i s or her f u t u r e ; (b) l o s i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s ( e . g . , w i th g r a n d c h i l d , i n - l a w ) ; (c) expe r i enc ing f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n ; (d) having c o n f l i c t i n g va lues or b e l i e f s about d i v o r c e ; (e) o the r ; desc r i be b r i e f l y . I d e n t i f y i n g a s p e c i f i c s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r prov ided respondents w i th a f oca l po in t f o r answering ques t ions on perce ived c o n t r o l , cop ing , and s o c i a l support (see Appendix G ) . Severa l mothers i d e n t i f i e d more than one s t r e s s o r tha t they were e x p e r i e n c i n g , Table 2 Ques t i onna i re D i s t r i b u t i o n and Return F igures 63 Source D i s t r i b u t i o n Returned Return Rate Media 75 65 86.7% Community Centres 33 20 60.6% Personal Contact 37_ 18 48.6% Tota l 145 103 71.0% 64 i n d i c a t i n g tha t sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce of an adu l t c h i l d may present many d i f f e r e n t cha l l enges f o r mothers. One s t r e s s o r out of the m u l t i p l e s t r e s s o r response was choosen to represen t the respondent , based on the s t r e s s o r tha t was of pr imary focus in the mother ' s w r i t t e n d e s c r i p t i o n of her s t r e s s f u l expe r i ence . To assess con t ro l 1 a b i 1 i t v . respondents were asked to i n d i c a t e how much con t ro l they f e l t they had over the i d e n t i f i e d sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce s t r e s s o r on a 5 -po in t L i k e r t s c a l e ranging from 0 (not at a l l ) to 4 (a great d e a l ) . The s c a l e was used by Folkman and Lazarus (1985) in assess ing the con t ro l s tudents f e l t they had over the course of an examina t ion , (see Appendix G) S o c i a l support was measured us ing a mod i f i ed v e r s i o n of the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behav iors ( ISSB; B a r r e r a , Sand le r , & Ramsay, 1981). Th is s e l f - r e p o r t s c a l e assesses the f requency of he lp ing behav iors prov ided by na tu ra l support systems. Krause and Markides (1990) mod i f i ed the s c a l e f o r use i n examining the impact of s t r e s s f u l l i f e events on o l d e r a d u l t s . S p e c i f i c a l l y , they lengthened the response t ime frame from one month to a yea r , d i sca rded 12 of the o r i g i n a l i tems and kept those i tems most r e l evan t to s t r e s s f u l e x p e r i e n c e s . The r e v i s e d 41- i tem s c a l e measures four aspects o f s o c i a l suppor t : i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , emotional support and support p rov ided to o t h e r s . Sub jec ts ra te the f requency of each support i tem on a 4 -po in t L i k e r t s c a l e ranging from 1 (never) to 4 (very o f t e n ) . Grea te r scores on a subsca le i n d i c a t e g rea te r f requency of s o c i a l support type over a y e a r . 65 The o r i g i n a l s c a l e i n s t r u c t i o n s were designed f o r use in an i n t e r v i e w , and were mod i f ied in the present s tudy f o r use in a q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Respondents were asked to th ink about the s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r they had i d e n t i f i e d e a r l i e r wh i l e responding to the support i tems. The 8- i tem i n f o rma t i ona l support subsca le measured the p r o v i s i o n of knowledge tha t o thers prov ide to the respondent to help her r e s o l v e the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . The 11- i tem emot ional support subsca le assessed the behaviour or personal q u a l i t i e s of the support person , i n c l u d i n g t r u s t , l o v e , c a r i n g and empathy. A id g iven by a support person was measured us ing the 9- i tem t a n g i b l e s u b s c a l e . R e l i a b i l i t i e s of these subsca les were p r e v i o u s l y assessed (Krause & Mark ides , 1990) w i th the f o l l o w i n g obta ined Cronbach 's a l p h a s : i n fo rma t iona l support ( . 81 ) , emot ional support ( . 83 ) , t a n g i b l e support ( . 67 ) . In t h i s study the s tanda rd i zed i tem alphas of the subsca les were c a l c u l a t e d at rs = .83 ( i n f o rma t i ona l suppo r t ) , .89 (emotional suppo r t ) , and .86 ( t a n g i b l e s u p p o r t ) . A fou r th s u b s c a l e , i n t e g r a t i o n , measures the degree of embeddedness of a person in a r e c i p r o c a l network o f shared r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . For the purpose of t h i s s tudy , respondents were asked to i n d i c a t e how o f ten they prov ided support to t h e i r adu l t c h i l d by responding to the 13 i n t e g r a t i o n i t ems . The r e l i a b i l i t y o f t h i s subsca le was .81 (Krause & Mark ides , 1990). Krause and Markides (1990) have prov ided data on the r e v i s e d s c a l e ' s p r e d i c t i v e v a l i d i t y based on a survey of i n d i v i d u a l s s i x t y - f i v e years of age and o l d e r . Each of the th ree s o c i a l support subsca les of i n t e r e s t ( i n f o r m a t i o n a l , 66 t a n g i b l e , and emot ional ) bu f fe red the impact of bereavement on dep ress i ve symptoms in a sample of 351 o l d e r a d u l t s . The ins t rument has been used in severa l s t u d i e s f ocus ing on s t r e s s and s o c i a l support i n e l d e r l y popu la t ions (Krause, 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1987c). (see Appendix H) Fami ly cohesion was measured us ing the Cohesion subsca le of the Fami ly R e l a t i o n s h i p Index (FR I ) . The FRI i s a measure of the cu r ren t q u a l i t y of f am i l y s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s and i s de r i ved from the th ree subsca les (cohes ion , e x p r e s s i v e n e s s , and c o n f l i c t ) tha t form the r e l a t i o n s h i p domain of the Fami ly Environment Sca le (FES; Moos & Moos, 1986). Fami ly cohesion i s the degree to which f am i l y members are committed, h e l p f u l and suppo r t i ve of each o the r . I t i s assessed by 9 i tems tha t r equ i r e fo rced cho ice ( t r u e - f a l s e ) responses . The h igher the score on the cohesion s u b s c a l e , the g rea te r the degree of f am i l y cohes ion . A minor m o d i f i c a t i o n was made on th ree of the i tems to r e f l e c t the f a c t tha t the m a j o r i t y of mothers do not r e s i d e i n the same home as t h e i r d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g . The term, at home, was rep laced by the phrase, when we ' re toge ther as a f a m i l y . A copy of the l e t t e r of permiss ion to modify and reproduce the Fami ly R e l a t i o n s h i p Index i s g iven in Appendix I. The Cohesion subsca le has an accep tab le i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y of .78 , w i th a t e s t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y o f .86 a f t e r 2 months (Moos & Moos, 1986). In t h i s study the s tandard i zed i tem a lpha f o r the subsca le was c a l c u l a t e d at r = . 87 . The FRI has high i n t e r n a l cons i s tency (Cronbach's a lpha = .89) w i th a median i n t e r c o r r e l a t i o n among the th ree subsca les of 0 .43 . The cons t r uc t v a l i d i t y of the FRI has been assessed by examining i t s 67 r e l a t i o n s h i p to i n d i c e s of psycho log i ca l and p h y s i c a l symptoms (Holahan & Moos, 1983). The FRI showed a s i g n i f i c a n t negat ive r e l a t i o n s h i p to i l l n e s s measures in employed men, and unemployed and employed women, and a s i g n i f i c a n t negat ive r e l a t i o n s h i p to depress ion i n unemployed men. The Fami ly Environment Sca le (FES) has been used to study d i f f e r e n c e s between the perce ived f am i l y c l ima te in the nuc lea r f am i l y and in the f am i l y of o r i g i n , and w i th i n t e r g e n e r a t i o n a l f a m i l i e s i n samples of c l i n i c a l and n o n c l i n i c a l popu la t i ons (Carpenter , 1984; P a t t e r s o n , C h a r l e s , Woodward, Rober ts , & Penk, 1981). I t has been used on respondents ranging in age from 18 to 84 (Barry & F leming, 1990). (See Appendix J ) The f a m i l y cohesion subsca le has been i n v e s t i g a t e d in the past i n r e l a t i o n to o ther support i n d i c e s . C o r r e l a t i o n of the subsca le to support i n d i c e s on the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behav iors ( ISSB; Bar re ra et a l . , 1981) an enacted support measure, were low, rang ing from .18 ( c o g n i t i v e i n fo rma t ion and cohesion) to .25 (emotional support and cohes ion) (Sarason et a l . , 1987). In the f o l l o w i n g s tudy , c o r r e l a t i o n s between f am i l y cohesion and s o c i a l support subsca les of the r e v i s e d ISSB (Krause & Mark ides , 1990) were as f o l l o w s ; .05 ( t a n g i b l e suppo r t ) , .14 ( i n fo rma t i ona l support ) and .33 (emotional suppo r t ) . C r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e . The COPE s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989) was used to measure s i t u a t i o n - s p e c i f i c c o g n i t i v e and behav io ra l coping responses . The COPE inst rument has been used i n the past i n th ree d i f f e r e n t fo rmats : (a) a ' t r a i t l i k e ' v e r s i o n in which s u b j e c t s i n d i c a t e the degree to which they t y p i c a l l y do each of 68 the s t r a t e g i e s l i s t e d when under s t r e s s , (b) a t i m e - l i m i t e d v e r s i o n in which respondents i n d i c a t e the degree to which they have been us ing each of the s t r a t e g i e s up to the p resen t , and (c) a t i m e - l i m i t e d v e r s i o n in which sub jec t s i n d i c a t e the degree to which they a c t u a l l y d id use each of the coping e f f o r t s dur ing a pe r iod i n the pas t . In t h i s s tudy , the past tense was used as mothers were asked to cons ide r a d i v o r c e - or s e p a r a t i o n - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r they had exper ienced in the past y e a r . With t h i s s t r e s s o r as a frame of re fe rence they then responded to the 52 coping p r e d i c a t e s on a 4 -po in t L i k e r t s c a l e rang ing from 1 ("I d i d n ' t do t h i s at a l l " ) to 4 ("I d id t h i s a l o t " ) . The i n s t r u c t i o n s o f the COPE were mod i f i ed to i n d i c a t e what the mothers g e n e r a l l y d id and f e l t when they exper ienced t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e . The COPE inst rument i nco rpo ra tes 13 c o n c e p t u a l l y d i s t i n c t s c a l e s : a c t i v e cop ing , p l ann ing , seek ing ins t rumenta l s o c i a l suppor t , seek ing emotional s o c i a l suppor t , suppress ion of competing a c t i v i t i e s , r e l i g i o n , p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth, r e s t r a i n t cop ing , acceptance, focus on and ven t ing emot ion, d e n i a l , mental disengagement, and behav io ra l disengagement. Th is study used s i x of the s c a l e s : th ree a s s e s s i n g an a c t i v e coping mode ( a c t i v e cop ing , p l a n n i n g , and p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth) , and th ree assess i ng an avo idant coping mode (mental disengagement, behav io ra l disengagement, and focus on and ven t ing emot ion) . These s c a l e s were chosen because of t h e i r importance both t h e o r e t i c a l l y and e m p i r i c a l l y i n the coping l i t e r a t u r e (Carver et a l . , 1989; Sche ie r e t a l . , 1986; Her th , 1990). In t h i s study a c t i v e 69 cop ing , p l a n n i n g , and p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth were found to be moderate ly to h i g h l y c o r r e l a t e d , w i th rs rang ing from .31 to .66 . Mental disengagement, behav io ra l disengagement, and focus on and ven t ing emotion were low to moderate ly c o r r e l a t e d , w i th rs ranging from .26 to . 3 5 . Data were assessed us ing raw s c o r e s . Raw scores from each of the th ree avo idant coping s c a l e s were summed. S i m i l a r l y , raw scores from the th ree a c t i v e coping s c a l e s were summed. Raw s c a l e scores can range from 4 to 16, w i th high scores i n d i c a t i n g f requent use of a coping s t r a t e g y , and low scores r e f l e c t i n g l i t t l e use. I n t e r c o r r e l a t i o n s among the COPE s c a l e s have been assessed i n the past and were low to moderate (Carver et a l . , 1989). Cronbach 's a lpha r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t s f o r each s c a l e us ing a d i s p o s i t i o n a l response format were in general accep tab l y high ( rs > . 6 1 , except mental disengagement, r = . 4 5 ) . A l l s c a l e a lphas tended to be h igher when the response format r equ i red r a t i n g s p e c i f i c behav io ra l s i t u a t i o n s (Carver et a l . , 1989). I n te rna l c o n s i s t e n c i e s based on the sample data from t h i s study was c a l c u l a t e d on the s i x subsca les of importance to the s tudy . The s tanda rd i zed i tem alphas are as f o l l o w s : r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ( . 70 ) , p lann ing ( .80 ) , a c t i v e ( .65 ) , mental disengagement ( .25) , behav io ra l disengagement ( . 71 ) , focus on and ven t ing emotion ( . 85 ) . The low s tandard i zed a lpha r e l i a b i l i t y f o r the mental disengagement subsca le i s not e n t i r e l y unexpected. Carver et a l . (1989) desc r i bed the mental disengagement subsca le as forming a d i v e r s e range of a c t i v i t i e s , r a t he r than being a s i n g l e c l a s s of behav iour . The s tandard i zed i tem a lpha of the 70 A c t i v e coping mode and Avoidant coping mode was c a l c u l a t e d at rs =.84 and .75 , r e s p e c t i v e l y . Carver et a l (1989) prov ided ev idence f o r t e s t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y on two samples us ing a d i s p o s i t i o n a l response format. In general t e s t - r e t e s t c o r r e l a t i o n s were moderate to high ( ranging from r = .42 to r = . 8 9 ) . T e s t - r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t i e s were not g iven f o r s i t u a t i o n s p e c i f i c coping s t r a t e g i e s , (see Appendix K) Data A n a l y s i s Two s imul taneous m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n (MR) ana lyses were conducted i n order to examine the nature and s t reng th of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s and cop ing . Simul taneous MR was used because past research on the ways mothers cope wi th t h e i r o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce i s l i m i t e d , and prov ides no t h e o r e t i c a l or e m p i r i c a l bas i s f o r en te r i n g any one p a r t i c u l a r independent v a r i a b l e p r i o r to any o ther independent v a r i a b l e . F ive p r e d i c t o r s were entered i n each MR: f a m i l y cohes ion , emotional suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , i n f o rma t i ona l support and c o n t r o l l a b i l i t y . In the f i r s t a n a l y s i s , scores on the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s were used to p r e d i c t scores on the f i r s t c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e , Avo idant coping mode. In the second a n a l y s i s , scores on the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s were used to p r e d i c t scores on the second c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e , A c t i v e coping mode. The r a t i o of sub jec t s to p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s was s a t i s f i e d accord ing to the r u l e of thumb se t out by Borg and G a l l (1989) ( i . e . , to i nc rease sample s i z e by at l e a s t 15 sub jec t s f o r each p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e tha t w i l l be i nc luded in the m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n ) . Resu l t s D e s c r i p t i v e S t a t i s t i c s Means, s tandard d e v i a t i o n s and p a i r - w i s e c o r r e l a t i o n s f o r the p r e d i c t o r and c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s are g iven i n Table 3. The responses on the f am i l y cohesion subsca le (M = 7 .44, SD = 2.36) of the Fami ly R e l a t i o n s h i p Index (FRI ) , are h igher than those obta ined by Moos and Moos (1986) f o r both normal and d i s t r e s s e d popu la t i on groups (M = 6 .61 , SD = 1.36; M = 5 .03 , SD = 1.98, r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . The d i s t r e s s e d popu la t ion group was made up of both p s y c h i a t r i c - o r i e n t e d f a m i l i e s and f a m i l i e s of a l coho l abusers . Fami ly cohesion responses in the present study were lower than those obta ined by wives of 66 marr ied couples (M = 7 .97 , SD = 1.65) who ra ted t h e i r cu r ren t f am i l y environment (Carpente r , 1984). Carpenter suggested that the f i g u r e s ob ta ined in h i s study may have been i n f l u e n c e d by the order of r a t i n g of past and present f am i l y env i ronments. The r e s u l t s on two of the s o c i a l support subsca les are d i f f e r e n t from those ob ta ined by Krause (1987c) i n a sample of 351 o l d e r a d u l t s . Whereas t a n g i b l e support was lower than K rause ' s f i n d i n g s (M = 15.22, SD = 4 . 5 8 ) , i n fo rmat ion support was h igher (M = 11.24, SD = 3 . 9 8 ) . Emotional support was s i m i l i a r to K rause ' s f i n d i n g s (M = 24 .48 , SD = 7 .56 ) . Al though the present study i n v e s t i g a t e d mothers expe r i enc ing a s p e c i f i c s t r e s s f u l event ( i . e . , sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce of an adu l t c h i l d ) , K rause ' s sample i nc luded both men and women expe r i enc ing a v a r i e t y of l i f e s t r e s s o r s ( c f . Krause, 1986). D i f f e r e n c e s i n r ece i ved s o c i a l support scores may r e f l e c t the importance of c e r t a i n s o c i a l support types to the s t r e s s o r being i n v e s t i g a t e d . With respec t Table 3 C o r r e l a t i o n s of P r e d i c t o r and C r i t e r i o n V a r i a b l e s (N=84) 72 Measure V a r i a b l e Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Cohesion 7.44 2.36 -2 Cont ro l 1.26 1.33 .38 -3 E-Support 26.05 7.78 .33 .17 -4 I -Support 12.49 4.02 .14 - . 0 6 .41 -5 T-Support 12.98 4.75 .05 - . 0 2 .34 .20 -6 Act -Cope 32.58 7.60 .10 .19 .33 .15 .06 -7 Av-Cope 24.62 6.17 - .31 - . 3 7 .24 .24 .20 .12 Note. E-Support i s emotional suppor t , I -Support i s i n fo rma t iona l suppor t , T-Support i s t a n g i b l e suppor t , Act-Cope i s the summed raw score A c t i v e cop ing , Av-Cope i s the summed raw score Avoidant cop ing . r .01(80)= .28, r .05(80)=.22. Ad jus ted r .01(80)= .43 , r .05(80)=.38 (Shave lson, 1981). 73 to coping s t r a t e g i e s , responses on i n d i v i d u a l coping s c a l e s v a r i e d in comparison to r e s u l t s from Carver e t a l . ' s (1989) study of 1,030 c o l l e g e s tuden ts . Whereas four of the coping s t r a t e g i e s ; r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a c t i v e cop ing , p lann ing and mental disengagement were a l l lower than f i n d i n g s from C a r v e r ' s s tudy , focus on and ven t ing emot ion, and behav io ra l disengagement subsca les were somewhat h ighe r . Grandmothers. Demographic in fo rmat ion on grandmothers i s g iven in Appendix L. The ma jo r i t y of grandmothers, who made up 83.3% of the sample, repor ted having two or more g r a n d c h i l d r e n . Over h a l f o f the grandmothers desc r ibed t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th t h e i r g randch i l d ren as very c l o s e (61.4%). S i m i l a r l y , over h a l f o f the grandmothers (67.1%) i n d i c a t e d tha t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th t h e i r g randch i l d ren had changed as a r e s u l t o f the sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . Grandmothers' d e s c r i p t i o n s about the r e l a t i o n s h i p change were d i v i d e d i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s ; (a) Less i nvo l ved - d i s t a n t , and (b) More i nvo l ved - c l o s e r . The ca tegory " l e s s i nvo l ved - d i s t a n t " i nc luded grandmothers who were r e s t r i c t e d access to t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n , those whose g randch i l d ren had moved away a f t e r the d i v o r c e , and those who f e l t tha t they or t h e i r g randch i l d ren no longer communicated as e a s i l y because o f the d i v o r c e . "More i nvo l ved - c l o s e r " i nc luded grandmothers who were a c t i n g as sur roga te mothers, those who f e l t c l o s e r emo t i ona l l y to t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n , and those who f e l t communication was be t t e r between themselves and t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n . Of those grandmothers (n=45) who repor ted tha t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p had changed, 62.2% i n d i c a t e d tha t the r e l a t i o n s h i p had become more d i s t a n t . Approx imate ly 61% of these ' d i s t a n t ' grandmothers were mothers of adu l t sons . The remain ing grandmothers (37.8%) who i n d i c a t e d tha t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p had changed wi th t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n , f e l t i t had become c l o s e r or tha t they were more i nvo l ved w i th t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n . Approx imate ly two t h i r d s (64.7%) of these ' c l o s e r ' grandmothers were mothers of adu l t daughters . In response to a request f o r a d d i t i o n a l comments about the s tudy , or about a mother 's exper ience w i th an adu l t c h i l d ' s d i v o r c e , 51 mothers r e p l i e d . These comments are summarized in Appendix M. C o r r e l a t i o n s Between V a r i a b l e s C o r r e l a t i o n s and s i g n i f i c a n c e l e v e l s between important demographic v a r i a b l e s , support i n t e g r a t i o n , and coping are g iven i n Appendix N. Age of the mother was found to be n e g a t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i th income (r = - . 4 0 ) , and support g iven to the adu l t c h i l d ( r = - . 3 1 ) , and p o s i t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i th the number of months known about the d i vo rce or sepa ra t i on (r = . 3 6 ) . S i m i l a r to Pearson ' s (1988) f i n d i n g s , educat ion and income were moderate ly c o r r e l a t e d (r = . 3 3 ) . Number of months known about the sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce was moderate ly n e g a t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d w i th degree of upset ( r = - . 3 3 ) , sugges t ing tha t a d i v o r c e s t r e s s o r i s more upse t t i ng e a r l i e r on i n the sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e p r o c e s s . Degree of upset was a l s o found to be s t r o n g l y c o r r e l a t e d wi th Avoidant coping (r = . 5 0 ) . Th is f i n d i n g i s c o n s i s t e n t w i th Pearson (1988) who repor ted tha t g rea te r s t r e s s r e a c t i v e n e s s among parents was s i g n i f i c a n t l y c o r r e l a t e d w i th avoidance cop ing . Degree of upset was moderate ly n e g a t i v e l y c o r r e l a t e d wi th pe rce ived con t ro l ( r = -75 . 39 ) , sugges t ing tha t lower perce ived con t ro l du r ing a d i v o r c e -or s e p a r a t i o n - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r i s r e l a t e d to f e e l i n g more upset about the expe r i ence . P r o v i d i n g support to an adu l t c h i l d showed a low c o r r e l a t i o n to A c t i v e coping (r = . 2 5 ) . With respec t to the p r e d i c t o r and c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s (see Table 3 ) , cohes ion was moderate ly c o r r e l a t e d w i th pe rce ived con t ro l ( r = . 3 8 ) , and rece i ved emotional support ( r = . 3 3 ) . In fo rmat iona l support and t a n g i b l e support showed l i t t l e or low r e l a t i o n s ( a l l r ' s < .25) w i th a l l o ther v a r i a b l e s w i th one e x c e p t i o n . In fo rmat iona l support and t a n g i b l e support was moderate ly c o r r e l a t e d w i th emotional support ( rs = .41 and .34, r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . Both cohesion and perce ived con t ro l were moderate ly c o r r e l a t e d wi th Avoidant coping ( rs = - .31 and - . 3 7 , r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . Emotional support showed a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n w i th both A c t i v e coping (r = .33) and Avo idant coping (r = . 24 ) . A c t i v e and Avoidant coping c o r r e l a t e d at . 12 . In summary, mothers w i th more support i n general ( i . e . , both f a m i l y support and emot ional support from o thers ) exper ienced more con t ro l over the s t r e s s f u l aspect of t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . Those mothers w i th l e s s f am i l y support and commitment exper ienced l e s s con t ro l over the sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce s t r e s s o r and were more l i k e l y to engage in avo idant ways of cop ing . P r e l i m i n a r y A n a l y s i s Three one-way m u l t i v a r i a t e a n a l y s i s of va r i ance (MANOVAs) were conducted to examine s p e c i f i c d i f f e r e n c e s between those mothers who were d i vo rced in the past versus those who were not , those who were grandmothers versus those who were not , and those who had adu l t sons versus those who had adu l t daughters , i n 76 r e l a t i o n to the p r e d i c t o r and c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , emotional suppor t , i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , a c t i v e cop ing , avo idant coping* and the v a r i a b l e , degree upset . The a n a l y s i s found s i g n i f i c a n t m u l t i v a r i a t e group d i f f e r e n c e s f o r mothers who had had a past d i v o r c e versus mothers who had not , £ (8 ,75) = 2 .46 , p_<.02. U n i v a r i a t e a n a l y s i s revea led tha t there was a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e in terms of f am i l y cohes ion , u n i v a r i a t e £ (1 ,82 ) = 10.57, p_<.009, and rece i ved emotional suppor t , u n i v a r i a t e £ (1 ,82 ) = 7 .07 , p_<.002. Mothers who had had a past d i v o r c e repor ted lower f am i l y cohesion scores (M = 6 .32 , SD = 2 .83 , M = 8 .00 , SD = 1.89, r e s p e c t i v e l y ) , and lower r ece i ved emot ional suppor t (M = 22 .96 , SD = 7 .73 , M = 27 .59 , SD = 7 .40 , r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . There was no s i g n i f i c a n t m u l t i v a r i a t e group e f f e c t f o r e i t h e r gender of adu l t c h i l d (£<1) , or grandmother s t a t u s (£ (8 ,75) = 1.13, £>.35) on the c r i t e r i o n and p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s . A one-way m u l t i v a r i a t e a n a l y s i s of va r i ance (MAN0VA) was conducted to examine d i f f e r e n c e s between months known of the sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce i n r e l a t i o n to the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s , and degree upset . Months were d i v i d e d i n to two groups us ing the median (24 months) as a m idpo in t . Months 1 to 24 were coded as 1, months 25 to 348 were coded as 2. The m u l t i v a r i a t e a n a l y s i s found no s i g n i f i c a n t between group d i f f e r e n c e s (£<1) . An a d d i t i o n a l one-way MAN0VA was conducted i n order to determine whether d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s o r types were r e l a t e d to the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s and degree upset . 77 S t r e s s o r ep isodes were d icho tomized , w i th the l a r g e s t group, "Worrying about your adu l t c h i l d " coded as 1 and "o ther s t r e s s o r s " coded as 2 (see Table 1 ) . "Other s t r e s s o r s " was comprised of the four s t r e s s o r c a t e g o r i e s ; l o s i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s , expe r i enc i ng f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n , having c o n f l i c t i n g va lues about d i v o r c e , and o the r . The a n a l y s i s found s i g n i f i c a n t m u l t i v a r i a t e group d i f f e r e n c e s f o r the s t r e s s o r , wor ry ing about your adu l t c h i l d , versus o ther s t r e s s o r s , £ (8 ,75) = 2 .99 , p_<.006. S t r e s s o r type was s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t on the mean i n fo rma t i ona l support s c o r e s , u n i v a r i a t e F ( l , 8 2 ) = 5 .89 , j_<.02; wor ry ing about your adu l t c h i l d was a s s o c i a t e d w i th h igher r ece i ved i n fo rma t i ona l support compared wi th o ther s t r e s s o r s (Ms = 13.26 v s . 11.10, r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . S i g n i f i c a n t between group d i f f e r e n c e s a l s o e x i s t e d on the mean cohesion s c o r e s , u n i v a r i a t e F ( l , 8 2 ) = 6 .87 , £ < . 0 1 ; wor ry ing about an adu l t c h i l d was a s s o c i a t e d wi th h igher f a m i l y cohesion (Ms = 7.93 v s . 6 .57 , r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . In a d d i t i o n , s i g n i f i c a n t group d i f f e r e n c e s e x i s t e d on the mean upset s c o r e s , u n i v a r i a t e F (1,82) = 7 .10 , p_<.01; wor ry ing about an adu l t c h i l d was a s s o c i a t e d wi th lower upset scores compared w i th o ther s t r e s s o r s (Ms = 3.06 v s . 3 .60 , r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . In summary, wor ry ing about an adu l t c h i l d was a s s o c i a t e d w i th h igher r ece i ved i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t , and f a m i l y cohes ion , and lower upset scores compared wi th o ther s t r e s s o r s . Hypotheses To t e s t hypotheses 1 and 2, two s imul taneous m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n s were conducted. Fami ly cohes ion , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , emot ional suppor t , i n fo rma t i ona l support and t a n g i b l e support 78 were used as p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s . A c t i v e and Avo idant coping modes were used as c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s . Avo idant cop ing . Table 4 shows the summary of f i n d i n g s from the m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s of p r e d i c t o r s of Avoidant coping s c o r e s . The t o t a l equat ion p r e d i c t i n g Avo idant coping reached s i g n i f i c a n c e , £ (5 ,78 ) = 7 .68, p_<.0001. Three v a r i a b l e s , cohes ion (1(1,78) = - 3 . 0 3 , £< .003) , perce ived con t ro l (1(1,78) = - 2 . 9 1 , p_<.005), and emotional support (1(1,78) = 2 .85 , p_<.006), were s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avoidant cop ing . En te r ing the f i v e p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s i n the r e g r e s s i o n equat ion produced an R-squared o f . 33 , w i th an ad jus ted R-squared o f . 29 . In summary, the r e g r e s s i o n r e s u l t s f o r Avoidant coping i n d i c a t e tha t low f am i l y cohes ion , low perce ived c o n t r o l , and high rece i ved emotional support i s a s s o c i a t e d wi th g r e a t e r use of Avo idant cop ing . The f i n d i n g s prov ide support f o r Hypothesis 1. A c t i v e coo ing . Table 5 shows the summary of f i n d i n g s from the m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s of p r e d i c t o r s o f A c t i v e coping s c o r e s . The t o t a l equat ion p r e d i c t i n g A c t i v e coping reached s i g n i f i c a n c e , £ (5 ,78 ) = 2 .46 , p_<.05. Thus, there i s support f o r Hypothes is 2 . However, on ly one of the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , r ece i ved emotional suppor t , con t r i bu ted s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the p r e d i c t i o n of A c t i v e cop ing , 1 (1,78) = 2 .54 , p_<.01. None of the o ther v a r i a b l e s reached s i g n i f i c a n c e . A l t o g e t h e r 14% (8% ad jus ted) of the v a r i a b i l i t y i n A c t i v e coping cou ld be p red i c ted by scores on the f i v e p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , pe rce i ved c o n t r o l , emotional suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , and i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t . Table 4 M u l t i p l e (N=84) Regress ion A n a l y s i s o f P r e d i c t o r s of Avoidant Coping 79 Source B t (d f= l ,78) P. Cohesion - . 3 2 - 3 . 0 3 <.003 Tang ib le Support .08 .85 ns In fo rmat iona l Support .12 1.12 ns Cont ro l - . 3 0 -2 .91 <.005 Emotional Support .32 2.85 <.006 Note. B i s the s tandard i zed reg ress ion c o e f f i c i e n t . Percentage of va r i ance i n Avoidant coping accounted f o r by the r e g r e s s i o n equat ion (R-squared) i s .33 (Adjusted . 2 9 ) . O v e r a l l F(5,78) = 7 .68 , p_<.0001. Table 5 M u l t i p l e Regress ion A n a l y s i s o f P r e d i c t o r s of A c t i v e Coping (N=84) 80 Source B t (d f= l ,78) J2 Cohesion - . 0 8 - . 6 8 ns Tang ib le Support - . 0 5 - . 4 6 ns In fo rmat iona l Support .05 .42 ns Cont ro l .17 1.50 ns Emotional Support .32 2.54 <.01 Note. B i s the s tandard i zed r e g r e s s i o n c o e f f i c i e n t . Percentage of va r i ance in A c t i v e coping accounted f o r by the r e g r e s s i o n equat ion (R-squared) i s .14 (Adjusted . 0 8 ) . O v e r a l l F(5,78) = 2 .46 , p_<.05. 81 Pos t -hoc Ana lyses A d d i t i o n a l ana lyses were conducted to i n v e s t i g a t e the f o l l o w i n g : (a) the i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s of pe rce ived con t ro l and emot ional support on cop ing , (b) the s i g n i f i c a n c e of s t r e s s o r type on cop ing , (c) the use of r e l a t i v e coping scores as the c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e , and (d) the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s and Avoidant coping wi th the s u b s c a l e , mental disengagement removed. Because both con t ro l and emotional support were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to the use of Avoidant cop ing , and based on Cu t rona ' s (1990) research on the i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s of pe rce ived con t ro l and s o c i a l support t ype , r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s was conducted to examine the i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s of perce ived con t r o l and emotional suppor t . Fo l l ow ing the s tandard procedure f o r t e s t i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s i n r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s , the i n t e r a c t i o n term was entered i n t o the equat ion a f t e r the main e f f e c t s had entered (Cohen & Cohen, 1983). Cont ro l x Emotional Support was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avoidant cop ing , t ( l , 7 7 ) = - 1 . 0 5 , £> .29 . Severa l researchers have emphasized the importance of c o n s i d e r i n g s t r e s s o r type in research on s t r e s s and coping because t h e i r f i n d i n g s suggest tha t c e r t a i n s t r e s s o r s may d i f f e r e n t i a l l y p r e d i c t d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s (Folkman & Laza rus , 1980; Parkes , 1986). T h e o r e t i c a l l y , the s i t u a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s o r ep isodes are thought to have an impor tant i n f l u e n c e on an i n d i v i d u a l ' s cho ice of coping s t r a t e g i e s (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). P r e l i m i n a r y a n a l y s i s showed tha t mothers who predominant ly wor r ied about t h e i r adu l t 82 c h i l d s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e d from those who repor ted o ther s t r e s s o r s on two of the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; r ece i ved i n fo rma t i ona l support and cohes ion . Based on the research l i t e r a t u r e and on these p r e l i m i n a r y f i n d i n g s , a r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s was conducted to examine the main and i n t e r a c t i v e e f f e c t s of s t r e s s o r type wi th each of the four v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , emot ional suppor t , i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t , and t a n g i b l e suppor t , on the c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e , avo idant cop ing . In the s tandard m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n procedure f o r t e s t i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s , the i n t e r a c t i o n s terms; S t r e s s o r Type x Cohes ion , S t r e s s o r Type x Emotional Suppor t , S t r e s s o r Type x In fo rmat iona l Support , and S t r e s s o r Type x Tang ib le Support were entered i n t o the equat ion a f t e r the main e f f e c t s had entered (Cohen & Cohen, 1983). S t r e s s o r type was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avoidant cop ing , t < l . Furthermore, none of the i n t e r a c t i o n terms reached s i g n i f i c a n c e ( a l l t s < l , w i th one e x c e p t i o n ; S t r e s s o r Type x Cohes ion , t ( l , 7 3 ) = - 1 . 1 6 , p_>.24). Based on the argument tha t r e l a t i v e scores may y i e l d a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e on coping processes than raw scores ( V i t a l i a n o , Maiuro , Russo, & Becker , 1987), f u r t h e r m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s was conducted to examine the s t reng th and nature of the l i n e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s (perce ived c o n t r o l , f am i l y cohes ion , emotional suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , and i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t ) and e i t h e r r e l a t i v e Avo idant coping or r e l a t i v e A c t i v e cop ing . Whereas coping s t u d i e s us ing raw scores focus on the importance of s p e c i f i c coping s c a l e s , s t ud i es us ing r e l a t i v e scores are 83 i n t e r e s t e d i n the r e l a t i v e s t reng th of a p a r t i c u l a r s t r a t e g y in r e l a t i o n to an i n d i v i d u a l ' s o v e r a l l coping e f f o r t s . For the r e s u l t s of the data a n a l y s e s , c o r r e l a t i o n m a t r i x , and reg ress ion r e s u l t s , see Appendix 0. Carver et a l . (1989) found tha t the mental disengagement subsca le of the COPE s c a l e had a low Cronbach 's a lpha r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t , r = .45 , compared w i th the o ther s u b s c a l e s . The authors desc r ibed t h i s subsca le as being a ca tegory of seve ra l a c t i v i t i e s , r a t he r than a s i n g l e c l a s s of behav iour . Because the subsca le showed low i n t e r n a l cons i s tency ( s tandard i zed i tem a lpha = .25) based on the sample data from t h i s s tudy , the subsca le was removed from the t o t a l Avo idant coping mode. The s tandard i zed i tem a lpha of the Avoidant coping mode, w i th the mental disengagement subsca le removed was c a l c u l a t e d at r = .78 . The nature and s t reng th of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ( f am i l y cohes ion , pe rce i ved c o n t r o l , emotional suppor t , i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t , and t a n g i b l e suppor t ) and Avoidant coping (behav io ra l disengagement, and focus on and ven t ing emotion) were i n v e s t i g a t e d us ing a s i n g l e s imul taneous m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n . The t o t a l equat ion p r e d i c t i n g Avo idant coping reached s i g n i f i c a n c e , F(5,78) = 8 .66 , rj<.0001. Three v a r i a b l e s , perce ived con t ro l (1(1,78) = - 3 . 7 2 , JD<.0004), cohes ion (1(1,78) = - 2 . 7 6 , p_<.007), and emotional suppor t ( t ( l , 7 8 ) = 2 . 8 1 , £< .006) , were s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avo idant cop ing . En te r ing the f i v e p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s i n the r e g r e s s i o n equat ion produced an R-squared of .36 , w i th an ad jus ted R-squared of . 32 . In summary, the r e g r e s s i o n r e s u l t s f o r Avo idant cop ing , w i th the subsca le mental disengagement removed, were s i m i l i a r to the prev ious f i n d i n g s which inc luded mental disengagement as par t o f Avoidant cop ing . The a s s o c i a t i o n between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s and Avoidant coping may be somewhat s t rengthened wi th the removal o f the mental disengagement s u b s c a l e . In t h i s a n a l y s i s , 36% of the v a r i a b i l i t y i n Avo idant coping cou ld be p r e d i c t e d by scores on the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , whereas in the p r i o r a n a l y s i s , 33% of the v a r i a b i l i t y i n Avoidant coping cou ld be p r e d i c t e d by scores on the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s . 85 D i scuss ion The goal of t h i s study was to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a number of env i ronmenta l , and personal v a r i a b l e s , and the use of s p e c i f i c coping s t r a t e g i e s i n mothers expe r i enc ing the sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce of an adu l t c h i l d . In p a r t i c u l a r , i t was expected tha t low l e v e l s of perce ived c o n t r o l , r ece i ved s o c i a l support types (emot iona l , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , and t a n g i b l e ) , and f a m i l y cohesion would be a s s o c i a t e d wi th g rea te r use of coping s t r a t e g i e s aimed at d isengag ing from the d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r , or at f ocus ing on and ven t ing emot ions. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ( f am i l y cohes ion , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , and s o c i a l support types) and A c t i v e coping was more e x p l o r a t o r y . Al though g rea te r l e v e l s of pe rce ived con t ro l were expected to be r e l a t e d to g rea te r use o f coping s t r a t e g i e s aimed at t ak ing a c t i o n or r e i n t e r p r e t i n g the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n i n a more p o s i t i v e l i g h t , no d i r e c t i o n a l p r e d i c t i o n s were made in regard to s o c i a l support t ypes , f am i l y cohes ion , and the use of a c t i v e coping s t r a t e g i e s because of l ack of p rev ious r e s e a r c h . I t was a l s o expected tha t rece i ved emot ional support would be a more important p r e d i c t o r of coping f o r mothers, than e i t h e r i n fo rma t i ona l or t a n g i b l e s o c i a l suppo r t s . P r e d i c t o r s of A c t i v e and Avoidant Coping The m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n r e s u l t s showed tha t environmental v a r i a b l e s ( rece i ved emotional support and f am i l y cohes ion ) , and personal v a r i a b l e s (perce ived c o n t r o l ) , were s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avo idant cop ing , as assessed by s p e c i f i c s c a l e s from the COPE s c a l e . The environmental v a r i a b l e , r ece i ved emotional 86 suppor t , was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to A c t i v e cop ing . These f i n d i n g s are c o n s i s t e n t w i th Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) t h e o r e t i c a l emphasis on the i n f l u e n c e of environmental and personal v a r i a b l e s on an i n d i v i d u a l ' s exper ience of and response to a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . They are a l s o c o n s i s t e n t w i th p r i o r e m p i r i c a l research (F le ishman, 1984; Parkes , 1986) tha t showed tha t personal and environmental v a r i a b l e s are important p r e d i c t o r s of the ways in which an i n d i v i d u a l copes dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter . The f i n d i n g s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e to recent knowledge about the v a r i a b i l i t y o f cop ing . Because mothers responded to s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r s us ing d i f f e r e n t coping e f f o r t s , one can conclude tha t women cope d i f f e r e n t l y in coming to terms w i th t h e i r c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n . Avo idant coo ing . M u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s revea led tha t most of the i n d i v i d u a l a s s o c i a t i o n s between s p e c i f i c p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , and Avoidant coping p r e d i c t e d a p r i o r i were s i g n i f i c a n t . As expected, low fam i l y cohesion scores were r e l a t e d to the f requent use of Avoidant cop ing . Th is f i n d i n g i s c o n s i s t e n t w i th Hanson et a l . ' s (1989) work; tha t i s , tha t low f a m i l y cohes ion p r e d i c t e d the use of an avoidance coping s t y l e among d i a b e t i c you ths . Furthermore, Avoidant coping was p r e d i c t e d by low l e v e l s of perce ived c o n t r o l , sugges t ing tha t mothers who b e l i e v e they cannot shape or i n f l u e n c e a s e p a r a t i o n -or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r tend to focus on and vent t h e i r emot ions, or disengage from the s t r e s s f u l encounter . The p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th rece i ved emotional support i n d i c a t e s tha t g rea te r emotional support rece i ved from others p r e d i c t s the use of Avo idant coping by mothers. An examinat ion of the s tanda rd i zed beta weights suggests tha t not one of the three p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , f am i l y cohes ion , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , or r ece i ved emotional suppor t , i s a be t t e r p r e d i c t o r of Avoidant coping than another . The three v a r i a b l e s appear to p r e d i c t Avo idant coping w i th approx imate ly equal magnitude. Both the f i n d i n g s f o r pe rce ived c o n t r o l , and f am i l y cohesion are c o n s i s t e n t w i th Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) t h e o r e t i c a l framework. They p o s i t tha t avoidance coping occurs when there are few personal resources ( b e l i e f s about c o n t r o l ) , and environmental resources ( f am i l y support and commitment), a v a i l a b l e to an i n d i v i d u a l dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter . One i n t e r e s t i n g , but not unexpected f i n d i n g was tha t h igher l e v e l s of r ece i ved emotional support p red i c t ed g rea te r use of Avoidant cop ing . Al though t h e o r e t i c a l l y one would expect tha t having few environmental r esou rces , such as s o c i a l suppor t , would be a s s o c i a t e d w i th avoidance cop ing , Lazarus and Folkman (1984) conclude tha t present research knowledge i s too rudimentary in the ways tha t s o c i a l support operates to be ab le to t h e o r e t i c a l l y understand i t s e f f e c t s and modes of o p e r a t i o n . The r e s u l t s of t h i s study are c o n s i s t e n t w i th recent research tha t i n d i c a t e s tha t too much rece i ved support may not be h e l p f u l , and may in f a c t be de t r imenta l to an i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b i l i t y to take a c t i o n i n a s t r e s s f u l encounter (Coyne & D e l o n g i s , 1986; Coyne, Wortman, & Lehman, 1988). The s o c i a l suppor t f i n d i n g s are d i scussed f u r t h e r under the s e c t i o n Emotional Support R e c e i p t . 88 Because of the c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l nature of the s tudy , cau t ion must be taken in s p e c u l a t i n g on the d i r e c t i o n of c a u s a l i t y of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between perce ived c o n t r o l , f a m i l y cohes ion , emot ional suppor t , and avo idant cop ing . For example, whereas having fewer suppor ts and commitment from one 's f am i l y may encourage mothers to withdraw from a d i vo r ce s t r e s s o r , i t may a l s o be t rue tha t mothers who are us ing avo idant coping e f f o r t s may be p resen t i ng themselves i n ways tha t f o s t e r l e s s support and commitment from fam i l y members. In a d d i t i o n , the f am i l y environment may c o n s t r a i n the k ind of coping used by mothers. Mothers may not be supported i n t h e i r attempts to a c t i v e l y cope in f a m i l i e s in which a c t i v e coping i s not a c c e p t a b l e . A c t i v e cop ing . For A c t i v e cop ing , r ece i ved emotional support was a s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t o r ; t h i s suggests tha t mothers who are r e c e i v i n g emotional support from o thers are us ing more a c t i v e ways of coping wi th t h e i r d i v o r c e - or s e p a r a t i o n - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r . Because of the c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l nature of t h i s s tudy , the d i r e c t i o n i n which rece i ved emotional support and a c t i v e coping i n f l u e n c e each o ther i s u n c e r t a i n . Dunke l -Sche t te r et a l . (1987) suggest tha t the way in which a person copes prov ides cues to the he lper regard ing the need f o r suppor t . I t i s j u s t as l i k e l y t ha t a c t i v e coping may e l l i c i t emotional support from o t h e r s , as r e c e i v i n g emotional support from o thers may encourage an i n d i v i d u a l to a c t i v e l y cope. Support f o r the former view comes from a study by Schwarzer and Weiner (1991) who i n v e s t i g a t e d the e f f e c t s of p a t i e n t s ' ways of coping w i th cancer on s u p p o r t e r s ' w i l l i n g n e s s to p rov ide suppor t . They found p a t i e n t s who a c t i v e l y coped we l l on t h e i r own were more l i k e l y 89 to be r e c e i v i n g a d d i t i o n a l help from t h e i r s o c i a l networks. Thus, a mother 's ins t rumenta l ac t i ons dur ing an o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce may be a major determinant of support r e c e i p t . Unexpected ly , h igher l e v e l s of pe rce ived con t ro l was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to the use of A c t i v e cop ing , as was expected based on Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) s t r e s s and coping model ; tha t i s , i n s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n s tha t are appra ised as ho ld ing p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r change, thereby ho ld ing p o t e n t i a l f o r c o n t r o l , an i n d i v i d u a l w i l l use more a c t i v e coping s t r a t e g i e s d i r e c t e d at a l t e r i n g the s i t u a t i o n . F i n a l l y , f a m i l y cohesion was not a s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t o r of A c t i v e cop ing . Th is i s i n c o n t r a s t to B i l l i n g s and Moos (1982) r e s u l t s , but c o n s i s t e n t w i th o ther research tha t found f am i l y support to be more s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th avoidance coping than approach coping f o r women (Holahan & Moos, 1985). In summary, the o v e r a l l f i n d i n g s i n d i c a t e tha t mothers wi th fewer pe rce ived f am i l y suppor ts and commitment, and l e s s pe rce ived con t ro l over the s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r w i l l respond us ing more avo idant ways of cop ing . Moreover, the amount and type of r ece i ved s o c i a l support has i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the ex tent to which A c t i v e or Avo idant coping i s used to a l l e v i a t e s t r e s s . As expec ted , r ece i ved emotional support was a more important p r e d i c t o r of both A c t i v e and Avo idant coping than e i t h e r t a n g i b l e or i n f o rma t i ona l suppor t . As Cutrona (1990) p o s t u l a t e d , the type of s o c i a l support g iven was r e l a t e d to the nature of the l o s s exper ienced dur ing the sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce encounter . For l o s s e s i n v o l v i n g 90 r e l a t i o n s h i p s , emotional support (express ions of ca r i ng ) are most c r u c i a l . I t may be argued tha t i n d i v i d u a l s who rece i ved h igher l e v e l s of emotional support were expe r i enc ing a more severe s t r e s s o r than those respondents who rece i ved lower l e v e l s o f emot ional support ( B a r r e r a , 1986). However, the study attempted to con t ro l f o r s t r e s s s e v e r i t y by sc reen ing i n d i v i d u a l s who d id not f i n d t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce s t r e s s f u l , and by having p a r t i c i p a n t s respond to a one- i tem measure i n d i c a t i n g how upse t t i ng the s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e s t r e s s o r was f o r them. Degree of upset was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th the th ree types of s o c i a l suppor t ; emo t iona l , i n f o r m a t i o n a l , or t a n g i b l e . Emotional Support Rece ip t The f i n d i n g tha t rece ived emotional support s i g n i f i c a n t l y p r e d i c t e d the use of both A c t i v e coping and Avo idant coping deserves g rea te r a t t e n t i o n . These r e s u l t s lend support to the dual nature o f s o c i a l suppor t . Whereas some mothers may f ee l reassured by r e c e i v i n g cons ide rab le exp ress ions of c a r i n g and comfor t , exp ress ions tha t p rov ide mothers w i th the con f idence and s t reng th to take a c t i o n , o ther mothers may f i n d that emot ional over invo lvement by o thers may i n t e r f e r e w i th t h e i r a b i l i t y to problem s o l v e . Coyne et a l . (1988) suggest tha t p r o v i d i n g too much emotional support to an i n d i v i d u a l may leave the r e c i p i e n t f e e l i n g incompetent, or dependent on o t h e r s . Such involvement d iscourages personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and autonomy, and may r e s u l t i n wi thdrawal from a s t r e s s f u l expe r i ence . Fu r t he r , the type of ca r i ng and concern tha t i s g iven as emot ional support may a l so be an important determinant of the 91 ways i n which a mother copes w i th a d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r . For example, Carver et a l . (1989) po in t out tha t r e c e i v i n g sympathy from a f r i e n d or r e l a t i v e may not be adap t i ve , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the f r i e n d or r e l a t i v e i s used as an o u t l e t f o r f ocus ing on one 's emot ions. Focusing on one 's f e e l i n g s , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r extended per iods of t ime, may lead to a n t i c i p a t i o n of un favorab le outcomes. Accord ing to Carver and S c h e i e r ' s (1983, 1985) s e l f - r e g u l a t i o n model, a n t i c i p a t i o n s of un favorab le outcomes i n a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n tend to lead to disengagement. S i m i l i a r l y , negat ive aspects o f emotional i n t e r a c t i o n may a l s o prevent people from e x e r c i s i n g a c t i v e coping s t r a t e g i e s (Manne & Zau t ra , 1989). F i n a l l y , g rea te r amounts of r ece i ved emotional support may not be h e l p f u l i f the r e c i p i e n t i s unable to r e c i p r o c a t e . R e c i p r o c i t y has been i d e n t i f i e d as an important aspect of s o c i a l support exchange among o l d e r adu l t s (Lee, 1985). Not being ab le to r e c i p r o c a t e dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter may be a l l the more s t r e s s f u l , because i t may th rea ten an i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f - e s t e e m , and h i s or her sense of s e l f - r e l i a n c e and independence ( S h i n , Lehmann, & Wong, 1984). Th is in t u r n , may lead to an i n d i v i d u a l ' s wi thdrawal from a s t r e s s f u l encounter . In summary, emotional support i s more l i k e l y to be g iven to mothers i n f am i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s tha t are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a high degree of commitment and c l o s e n e s s . However, r ece i ved emotional support i s not always b e n e f i c i a l i n f a c i l i t a t i n g an i n d i v i d u a l to take a c t i o n dur ing a s t r e s s f u l encounter . I t i s specu la ted tha t r e c e i v i n g emotional support may undermine a mother 's a b i l i t y to problem so l ve and take a c t i o n , depending on the 92 nature of support rece i ved and on the a b i l i t y o f the mother to r e c i p r o c a t e . Such f i n d i n g s underscore the importance of i n v e s t i g a t i n g the s p e c i f i c q u a l i t i e s of suppo r t i ve r e l a t i o n s , not j u s t the amount of s o c i a l support r e c e i v e d , or the l e v e l of support pe rce ived by an i n d i v i d u a l . Fur ther research i s needed on the q u a l i t a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of support g iven t o , and prov ided by mothers in r e l a t i o n to the ways in which they cope w i th t h e i r c h i l d ' s d i vo rce or sepa ra t i on expe r i ence . Support Given To An Adu l t C h i l d In the present s tudy , g i v i n g g rea te r support to an adu l t c h i l d was a s s o c i a t e d wi th more f requent use of A c t i v e cop ing . G i v i n g support to t h e i r o f f s p r i n g dur ing m a r i t a l c r i s i s may be a form of coping f o r mothers. The p r o v i s i o n of support may a l s o help parents deal w i th f e e l i n g s of h e l p l e s s n e s s about the d i v o r c e i t s e l f (Brown, 1982). G i v i n g support to an adu l t c h i l d was a l s o a s s o c i a t e d wi th age; younger mothers gave g rea te r support to t h e i r adu l t c h i l d r e n than o l d e r mothers. Cons ide r ing tha t the m a j o r i t y of women in t h i s study were grandmothers, these r e s u l t s are not i n c o n s i s t e n t w i th past research by Johnson (1988a, 1988b) on grandmothers. Younger women prov ided s i g n i f i c a n t l y more s e r v i c e s and support to t h e i r adu l t c h i l d and young g r a n d c h i l d r e n , than o l d e r women who had o l d e r g r a n d c h i l d r e n . I t i s a l so p o s s i b l e tha t age d i f f e r e n c e s in g i v i n g of support may be r e l a t e d to aging in g e n e r a l , and not n e c e s s a r i l y to grandparenthood s p e c i f i c a l l y . In a na t i ona l sample o f adu l t s aged 50 and over , Antonucci (1985) found tha t o l d e r respondents repor ted g i v i n g s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s support to t h e i r s o c i a l networks than younger respondents . 93 Grandmothers and Adu l t C h i l d S e p a r a t i o n / D i v o r c e Cont ra ry to f i n d i n g s by Ahrons and Bowman (1982) who found tha t most grandmothers d id not see the d i v o r c e of t h e i r c h i l d as having an e f f e c t on t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d , in the present study over h a l f o f the grandmothers i n d i c a t e d that t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p had changed as a r e s u l t o f t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . A g rea te r percentage (62.2%) of grandmothers desc r i bed the change as being more d i s t a n t and one which meant tha t the grandmother was l e s s i nvo l ved w i th her g r a n d c h i l d r e n . S i m i l i a r to Ahrons and Bowman's (1982) work, mothers o f daughters d i f f e r e d from mothers of sons regard ing t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th t h e i r g r a n d c h i l d r e n . These d i f f e r e n c e s are most l i k e l y exp la ined by the g rea te r p o s s i b i l i t y of the d i vo rced or separated daughter having custody o f the c h i l d r e n . Mothers of daughters who i n d i c a t e d tha t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th t h e i r g randch i l d ren had changed were more l i k e l y to i n d i c a t e tha t the r e l a t i o n s h i p was c l o s e r and more i n v o l v e d . Mothers of sons who i n d i c a t e d tha t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th t h e i r g randch i l d ren had changed were more l i k e l y to i n d i c a t e tha t the r e l a t i o n s h i p was more d i s t a n t and l e s s i n v o l v e d . The present s tudy found no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between mothers of sons and mothers of daughters on the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s , f am i l y cohes ion , s o c i a l support t ypes , and perce ived c o n t r o l , and on the v a r i a b l e , degree upset . S i m i l a r l y , mothers of sons d id not d i f f e r from mothers of daughters on the use of e i t h e r A c t i v e or Avo idant cop ing . Ahron and Bowman (1982) a l s o found no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between mothers of sons and mothers of daughters i n t h e i r f e e l i n g s towards t h e i r c h i l d ' s d i v o r c e , or i n 94 t h e i r pe rcep t ions of the e f f e c t o f d i vo r ce on t h e i r own l i v e s or on the l i f e of t h e i r c h i l d . I t would appear tha t gender of an adu l t c h i l d i s not a s i g n i f i c a n t v a r i a b l e tha t d i f f e r e n t i a t e s mothers who are expe r i enc ing an o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e , except i n r e l a t i o n to con tac t w i th g r a n d c h i l d r e n . R e l a t i v e Scores Versus Raw Scores Pos t -hoc a n a l y s i s us ing r e l a t i v e scores i ns tead of raw scores found d i f f e r e n t pa t te rns of a s s o c i a t i o n s between the p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s and r e l a t i v e A c t i v e or Avo idant cop ing . Pe rce i ved con t ro l was s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i th both r e l a t i v e A c t i v e and Avoidant cop ing , w i th h igher l e v e l s of con t ro l a s s o c i a t e d wi th the use of r e l a t i v e A c t i v e cop ing , and lower l e v e l s of con t ro l assoc ia ted wi th the use of r e l a t i v e Avo idant cop ing . None of the o ther v a r i a b l e s were s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i th e i t h e r r e l a t i v e A c t i v e or Avoidant cop ing . Thus, r e l a t i v e scores were l e s s e f f e c t i v e than raw scores in d e f i n i n g s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between personal and envi ronmental v a r i a b l e s and cop ing . Other s t u d i e s , i n c o n t r a s t , have found r e l a t i v e scores to be more e f f e c t i v e than raw scores (Folkman, Lazarus , P l i m l e y , & Novacek, 1987; V i t a l i a n o et a l . , 1987). The present study d i f f e r e d from the o thers i n us ing the COPE s c a l e (Carver et a l . , 1989) to assess coping e f f o r t s , i ns tead of the Ways of Coping s c a l e (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). The COPE s c a l e has equal numbers of i tems in each subsca le thereby e l i m i n a t i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y o f b ias r e s u l t i n g from d i f f e r e n c e s in subsca le items when us ing the raw score method. A s m a l l e r range of subsca les in r e l a t i o n to t o t a l coping ( i . e . , 6 out of 13 subsca les ) was used in the present study in con t ras t 95 to Folkman et a l . (1987) who used f i v e subsca les out of a t o t a l o f e i g h t , and to V i t a l i a n o et a l . (1987) who used one subsca le out of t h r e e . Th is may account f o r the d i f f e r e n c e s i n r e s u l t s i n t ha t r e l a t i v e scores may de f i ne s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s more c l e a r l y when a f u l l e r range o f coping subsca les are used in r e l a t i o n to t o t a l cop ing . L i m i t a t i o n s To The Study Cons idered toge the r , the f i n d i n g s from t h i s study suggest tha t environmental v a r i a b l e s l i k e emotional support and f am i l y cohes ion , and personal v a r i a b l e s l i k e pe rce ived c o n t r o l , each c o n t r i b u t e un ique ly to the p r e d i c t i o n of mothers ' use of Avo idant cop ing . Mothers ' a c t i v e coping e f f o r t s are p red i c t ed by g rea te r r ece i ved emotional suppor t . The g e n e r a l i z a b i 1 i t y of these f i n d i n g s are l i m i t e d by the s e l f - s e l e c t e d nature o f the sample, however, the f i n d i n g s prov ide an important data base tha t adds to cu r ren t understanding of the ways o l d e r mothers cope dur ing m a r i t a l c r i s i s in the f a m i l y . The popu la t i on represented i n t h i s study was p r i m a r i l y caucas ion , middle c l a s s , and urban. C e r t a i n mothers may be under represented, p a r t i c u l a r l y those from other e t hn i c groups, lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and r u r a l a reas . A second l i m i t a t i o n to t h i s study i s r e l a t e d to the study d e s i g n . Data r e s u l t s were based on s e l f - r e p o r t answers to a q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Severa l of the measures i nvo l ved r e c a l l i n g i n fo rma t ion over the past year tha t may be prone to b ias stemming from recency e f f e c t s . However, Krause (1989) p rov ides ev idence tha t i n d i c a t e s tha t o l d e r adu l t s have l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y i n r e c a l l i n g s t r e s s f u l events tha t are important to them, and 96 tha t i t i s l i k e l y tha t i f s o c i a l support and the ways i n which i n d i v i d u a l s coped wi th the event i s important i n a l l e v i a t i n g s t r e s s , then they too w i l l be r e c a l l e d . In a d d i t i o n , severa l mothers i n d i c a t e d in t h e i r a d d i t i o n a l comments how v i v i d t h e i r c h i l d ' s exper ience was to them. A t h i r d l i m i t a t i o n to the study i s tha t on ly th ree dimensions of s o c i a l support were assessed ; types of r ece i ved s o c i a l suppor t , a measure of perce ived f am i l y suppor t , and support p r o v i s i o n to an adu l t c h i l d . Received support measures assess the amount of support tha t r e c i p i e n t s r e c e i v e d , not what they may have wanted, or needed. These measures are l i m i t e d in tha t they do not t e l l the researcher whether the r e c i p i e n t a c t i v e l y sought support or whether the r e c i p i e n t p a s s i v e l y accepted support tha t was g i v e n . Other impor tant support d imensions have been i d e n t i f i e d in the research l i t e r a t u r e ( i . e . , negat i ve support i n t e r a c t i o n , support s a t i s f a c t i o n ) tha t should be cons idered f o r i n c l u s i o n i n a study i n v e s t i g a t i n g mothers coping w i th an o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . Severa l r esea rche rs have argued tha t s t u d i e s i n v e s t i g a t i n g s o c i a l support should i nc l ude severa l measures tha t tap two or th ree aspects of s o c i a l support r e l a t i o n s , i n r e c o g n i t i o n tha t s o c i a l suppor t operates in complex ways (Schwarzer & Lepp in , 1991; W i l l s , 1985). Mothers who are us ing more avo idant ways of cop ing , and who f i n d the sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce of t h e i r adu l t c h i l d s t i g m a t i z i n g may be r e l u c t a n t to come forward and p a r t i c i p a t e in a research s tudy . Th is fou r th l i m i t a t i o n may mean tha t the sample of mothers i n t h i s study underest imates the number of mothers who 97 are us ing avo idant ways of coping to come to terms w i th t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n . Th is sample may a l s o underest imate those mothers who f ee l d i s t r e s s e d because of pe rce ived negat i ve connota t ions about d i vo r ce tha t may be r e i n f o r c e d by f am i l y and f r i e n d s , and by s o c i e t y at l a r g e . A f i f t h l i m i t a t i o n i s r e l a t e d to the focus of the s tudy . I t should be recogn ized tha t the study focused e x c l u s i v e l y on the i n d i v i d u a l , the i d e n t i f i e d mother, and her exper ience of having a son or daughter separate or d i vo r ce in the f a m i l y . The study d id not focus on the f am i l y as a whole, or on the mother as par t o f a l a r g e r f am i l y system. Fami ly i s sues were on ly impor tant as they r e l a t e d to a mother 's pe rcep t i on of her c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n , and the support o f f e r e d to her w i t h i n the f a m i l y . F i n a l l y , because the present study i s c r o s s - s e c t i o n a l , no conc lus i ons can be made w i th respec t to c a u s a l i t y . For example, one cannot say whether mothers ' use of a c t i v e coping e l l i c i t s emot ional support from o t h e r s , or whether emotional support g iven by o thers causes mothers to cope i n more a c t i v e ways. Moreover, i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e tha t the c o r r e l a t i o n between a c t i v e ways of coping and emotional support i s due to some t h i r d u n c o n t r o l l e d v a r i a b l e . Other p o s s i b l e v a r i a b l e s tha t have been researched i n past coping l i t e r a t u r e i nc l ude opt imism (Sche ie r e t a l . , 1986), e x t r a v e r s i o n (Parkes , 1986), and hard iness (Kobasa & P u c c e t t i , 1983). Future Research The r e s u l t s of t h i s study po in t to a number of areas f o r f u tu re r e s e a r c h . For one, the ques t ion of whether A c t i v e or Avoidant coping i s b e n e f i c i a l to mothers or leads to poorer p o s t - d i v o r c e adjustment warrants i n v e s t i g a t i o n . T h e o r e t i c a l l y , the coping s t r a t e g i e s tha t make up Avoidant coping are cons idered to be l e s s adapt ive than those s t r a t e g i e s tha t make up A c t i v e coping (Carver et a l . , 1989). There i s some i n d i c a t i o n tha t Avoidant coping may be l e s s h e l p f u l f o r mothers; Avo idant coping was found to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i th being more upset about the s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r ( r = . 5 0 ) . Fur ther research tha t i n c l udes a measure of adjustment would help to determine what ways of coping are b e n e f i c i a l to mothers expe r i enc ing a son or daugh te r ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n . One f i n d i n g of i n t e r e s t was tha t mothers who had had a p rev ious d i v o r c e themselves rece i ved lower amounts of emotional support and had lower l e v e l s of f am i l y cohesion than mothers who had had no p r i o r d i vo r ce h i s t o r y . I t may be tha t mothers who have a l r eady gone through t h e i r own exper ience o f d i v o r c e do not need as much support ( e i t h e r emotional or from t h e i r f am i l y ) to a s s i s t them through t h e i r c h i l d ' s expe r i ence . The impact of having exper ienced a p r i o r d i vo rce on a mother 's cu r ren t exper ience of an o f f s p r i n g ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n warrants f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Pearson (1988) found tha t a p a r e n t ' s sepa ra t i on exper ience was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to ways of cop ing , or s o c i a l suppor t , however having a high percentage of people in one ' s support network who a l so had a c h i l d who was separated was r e l a t e d to l e s s s t r e s s r e a c t i v e n e s s , and g rea te r use of a c t i v e cop ing . Respondents ' a d d i t i o n a l comments i n the present study tha t i nc luded re fe rences to t h e i r p rev ious d i vo r ce suggests tha t 99 f o r some mothers having exper ienced t h e i r own d i v o r c e made t h e i r c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n l e s s s t r e s s f u l , whereas f o r o ther mothers t h e i r o f f s p r i n g ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce brought up past f e e l i n g s making t h e i r c h i l d ' s d i vo r ce exper ience a l l the more s t r e s s f u l f o r them. Fur ther research i s needed to p rov ide c l a r i f i c a t i o n as to the impact of p r i o r d i vo r ce on a mother 's r e c e i v i n g of s o c i a l suppor t , and on her ways of coping w i th her c h i l d ' s m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n . Another f i n d i n g of i n t e r e s t was tha t s i g n i f i c a n t group d i f f e r e n c e s e x i s t e d between s t r e s s o r t ypes ; tha t i s , tha t the s t r e s s o r , wor ry ing about your adu l t c h i l d , was a s s o c i a t e d wi th h igher r ece i ved i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t , and f am i l y cohes ion , and lower upset scores compared wi th o ther s t r e s s o r s . The reason f o r such f i n d i n g s i s unc l ea r , p a r t i c u l a r l y because the ca tegory , o ther s t r e s s o r , i s made up of a d i v e r s e range of s t r e s s o r t ypes . Pos t -hoc a n a l y s i s revea led tha t s t r e s s o r type was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to Avoidant cop ing . Such f i n d i n g s are in c o n t r a s t to past research tha t found s t r e s s o r type to be a s i g n i f i c a n t p r e d i c t o r of d i f f e r e n t coping s t r a t e g i e s (Folkman & Lazarus , 1980; Parkes , 1986). These f i n d i n g s may r e f l e c t the complex nature of the exper ience of having a son or daughter separa te or d i v o r c e . Severa l s t r e s s o r types desc r i bed by mothers d i d not always f a l l i n t o d i s t i n c t c a t e g o r i e s , and some mothers had d i f f i c u l t i e s i d e n t i f y i n g a s i n g l e s t r e s s o r out of what they perce ived as being a m u l t i p l e s t r e s s o r expe r i ence . Fur ther research i s needed tha t focuses on e x p l i c i t l y c a t e g o r i z i n g s t r e s s o r ep isodes tha t mothers expe r i ence , in order 100 to c l a r i f y the a s s o c i a t i o n between s t r e s s o r t ype , and coping processes used by mothers of separated or d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g . I n v e s t i g a t i n g the a s s o c i a t i o n between age and d i f f e r e n t d imensions of s o c i a l support i s a f u r t h e r area f o r a d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h . Because d i vo rce may be more s t i g m a t i z i n g f o r o l d e r mothers, they may not reach out f o r support as r e a d i l y as younger mothers. Al though t h i s study found n o n s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n s between age and rece i ved s o c i a l support t ypes , age was s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d wi th the amount of support g iven to an adu l t c h i l d ( r = - . 3 1 , rj<.01). These f i n d i n g s are c o n s i s t e n t w i th A n t o n u c c i ' s (1985) study on a na t i ona l sample of adu l t s aged 50 and over . Whereas o l d e r respondents repor ted p rov i d i ng l e s s support to o thers than younger respondents , no age d i f f e r e n c e s were found in amount of r ece i ved suppor t . F i n a l l y , because l i t t l e research has been done on t h i s popu la t i on group w i th respec t to ways of cop ing , and because of the s e l f - s e l e c t e d nature of t h i s sample, i t would be important to r e p l i c a t e the present study to see i f the r e l a t i o n s h i p s found between p r e d i c t o r and c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s hold t rue on another sample of mothers. In a d d i t i o n , f u tu re l o n g i t u d i n a l research cou ld p rov ide important data on the process of coping wi th an adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e , and the r o l e of envi ronmental and personal v a r i a b l e s on coping over t ime. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Counse l l o r s Th is study hypothes ized tha t f am i l y cohes ion , perce ived c o n t r o l , and s o c i a l support t ypes , would be a s s o c i a t e d w i th the use of two f u n c t i o n a l l y d i f f e r e n t approaches to cop ing . O v e r a l l , the r e s u l t s p rov ide some support f o r the hypotheses. 101 These f i n d i n g s have severa l i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r adu l t and f am i l y c o u n s e l l o r s who work w i th women who may be expe r i enc ing the d i v o r c e of an o f f s p r i n g . D ivorce or sepa ra t i on of an o f f s p r i n g can have a number of d i f f e r e n t concerns f o r mothers, as revea led by t h i s s tudy . Given tha t there i s some i n d i c a t i o n tha t s e p a r a t i o n - or d i v o r c e - r e l a t e d s t r e s s o r s d i f f e r on how upse t t i ng they might be to mothers, i t would be important to d e l i n e a t e what aspect of the d i vo r ce or sepa ra t i on exper ience i s p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t r e s s i n g to the c l i e n t . One outcome of the present s tudy tha t was unexpected was the number of mothers who s t i l l found some aspect of t h e i r c h i l d ' s d i v o r c e c u r r e n t l y s t r e s s f u l , years a f t e r the d i vo rce had a c t u a l l y o c c u r r e d . Th is i s c o n s i s t e n t w i th p r i o r research tha t found a percentage of mothers whose d i s t r e s s cont inued years a f t e r t h e i r c h i l d had d i vo rced (Johnson, E . S . , 1981). Such a f i n d i n g underscores the importance of v iewing d i vo r ce in the f am i l y as a p rocess , not an event . I t should not be assumed by a c o u n s e l l o r tha t an adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce should no longer be of concern f o r a mother i f i t occur red severa l years ago. There may s t i l l be some cu r ren t f am i l y i ssues stemming from the d i s s o l v e d mar r iage . C o n s i d e r a t i o n should be g iven to the types of coping mothers use to deal w i th the expe r i ence . Broadening i n d i v i d u a l coping r e p e r t o i r e s may be b e n e f i c i a l f o r those mothers who do not f i n d t h e i r present ways of coping h e l p f u l . In des ign ing an e f f e c t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n to a l l e v i a t e a c l i e n t ' s d i s t r e s s , i t may be e s p e c i a l l y e f f i c a c i o u s to assess the c l i e n t ' s resources wi th respec t to s o c i a l support from fam i l y or f r i e n d s , as we l l as the c l i e n t ' s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i th the amount of r ece i ved support they 102 are g e t t i n g . S i m i l i a r l y , assess i ng the amount o f support tha t the c l i e n t i s g i v i n g to her adu l t c h i l d i s important i n de termin ing i f there i s an imbalance between the amount of support a c l i e n t i s r e c e i v i n g , and the amount of support she i s g i v i n g to her adu l t c h i l d . C o u n s e l l o r s should be aware of how much con t ro l mothers f ee l they have over the s t r e s s f u l aspect of t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . Given tha t there i s some i n d i c a t i o n tha t l e s s con t r o l i s r e l a t e d to expe r i enc ing the d i vo r ce as more u p s e t t i n g , i t may be important to p rov ide resources or ways that would i n c r e a s e a mother 's sense of personal con t ro l and s e l f -e f f i c a c y . For example, f o r those mothers who f ee l they have l i t t l e con t r o l over t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s re tu rn home a f t e r a d i v o r c e , i t may be b e n e f i c i a l to look at ways i n which communication can be enhanced between mother and adu l t c h i l d . Th is may i n c l u d e drawing up household p o l i c i e s , deve lop ing a mother 's a s s e r t i v e n e s s , and he lp ing her to c l a r i f y r o l e s w i t h i n the f a m i l y . Suggest ions f o r app rop r ia te a c t i o n tha t a mother can take may help to reduce her f e e l i n g s of h e l p l e s s n e s s , and g i ve her g rea te r sense of personal c o n t r o l . D ivorce in s o c i e t y has become f o r many f a m i l i e s a new way o f l i f e . Research and c l i n i c a l a t t e n t i o n has l a r g e l y focused on the d i v o r c i n g couple and t h e i r c h i l d r e n , w i th l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n g iven to o ther f am i l y members, p a r t i c u l a r l y the mother of the d i v o r c i n g a d u l t . Ye t , there may be severa l emo t iona l , f i n a n c i a l , l e g a l or k i n s h i p i ssues con f ron t i ng a mother dur ing the process of her o f f s p r i n g ' s m a r i t a l breakup. The ways in which a mother copes and accesses suppor ts f o r h e r s e l f dur ing t h i s process may p lay a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e , not on ly i n her own adjustment to m a r i t a l d i s r u p t i o n , but i n her f a m i l y ' s adjustment as we l1 . 104 References Ahrons, C . R . , & Bowman, M.E. (1982). Changes in f am i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o l l o w i n g d i vo r ce of adu l t c h i l d : Grandmother 's p e r c e p t i o n s . Journa l of D i vo r ce . 5, 49-68. 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Wethington, E . , & K e s s l e r , R.C. (1986). Pe rce i ved suppor t , r e c e i v e d support and adjustment to s t r e s s f u l l i f e even ts . Journa l of Heal th and S o c i a l Behav io r . 27, 78-89. Wh i f fen , V . E . , & G o t l i b , I .H. (1989). S t r ess and coping in m a r i t a l l y d i s t r e s s e d and nond is t ressed coup les . Journa l of  S o c i a l and Personal R e l a t i o n s h i p s . 6, 327-344. W i l l s , T .A . (1985). Suppor t i ve f unc t i ons o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . In S.Cohen & S . L . Syme ( E d s . ) , S o c i a l  support and hea l th (pp. 61 -82) . New York : Academic P r e s s . Wohlgemuth, E . , & Be tz , N.E. (1991). Gender as a moderator of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s of s t r e s s and s o c i a l support to phys i ca l hea l th in c o l l e g e s tuden ts . Journa l o f Counse l ing  Psycho logy . 38, 367-374. Appendix A: Telephone Screen ing Telephone sc reen ing Of the 98 p o t e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s responding to media a d v e r t i s i n g by te lephone, 75 were found to be s u i t a b l e f o r the s tudy , 23 were u n s u i t a b l e . Three of the mothers were not c u r r e n t l y s t r e s s e d by t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce and two r e s i d e d ou ts i de of the p rov i nce . One mother was found u n s u i t a b l e based on her emotional response at the t ime of te lephone c o n t a c t . She was ext remely d i s t r e s s e d by recent f a m i l y i s sues unre la ted to her c h i l d ' s d i v o r c e . The remaining 17 u n e l i g i b l e persons were not mothers of separated or d i vo rced o f f s p r i n g ; 12 were mothers expe r i enc ing t h e i r own d i v o r c e or s e p a r a t i o n , 3 were f a the rs expe r i enc ing sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e , 1 was an adu l t c h i l d having grown up in a d i vo rced home, and 2 were mothers expe r i enc ing a death , or a l i e n a t i o n from an adu l t c h i l d . The 75 s u i t a b l e p a r t i c i p a n t s were sent q u e s t i o n n a i r e packages. 116 Appendix B: Telephone and Ques t ionna i re Screen ing Items I f you have more than one c h i l d who has separated or d i v o r c e d , p lease answer a l l ques t ions in response to one c h i l d . 1. P lease i n d i c a t e to what ex tent you f i n d your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce s t r e s s f u l ? By " s t r e s s f u l " we mean how d i f f i c u l t or t r o u b l i n g i s your c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e to you, e i t h e r because i t upsets you or because i t takes cons ide rab le e f f o r t to deal w i th i t . ( C i r c l e the app rop r ia te number). Not Somewhat Cons ide rab l y at S t r e s s f u l S t r e s s f u l a l l S t r e s s f u l What i s s t r e s s f u l or upse t t i ng f o r you about your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce? P lease l i s t th ree examples. a . b. c . 3 . Is your adu l t c h i l d a son (P lease check one) or a daughter ? Appendix C: In t roduc to ry L e t t e r to P r o s p e c t i v e Sub jec ts The U n i v e r s i t y Of B r i t i s h Columbia Facu l t y Of Educat ion Department Of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology 5870 Toronto Road Vancouver, B .C . V6T 1L2 COPING WITH ADULT CHILD SEPARATION/DIVORCE Dear P a r t i c i p a n t : Thank you f o r being w i l l i n g to p a r t i c i p a t e in t h i s s tudy . The f o l l o w i n g research i s being c a r r i e d out by myse l f and my s u p e r v i s o r , Dr. Bonnie Long, i n the Department o f C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. The aim of t h i s p r o j e c t i s to examine the d i f f e r e n t ways mothers cope wi th t h e i r adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce and some of the f a c t o r s tha t might a f f e c t the types of coping they use. I t i s hoped tha t the in fo rmat ion gained through t h i s research w i l l enable people to b e t t e r understand and be more s e n s i t i v e to the concerns and needs of extended f am i l y members expe r i enc i ng d i vo r ce in the f a m i l y . I t i s hoped too , tha t such i n fo rma t ion w i l l help in des ign ing c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s tha t w i l l best meet the needs of parents coming to terms w i th t h e i r c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . We are ask ing you to v o l u n t a r i l y p a r t i c i p a t e in t h i s research by complet ing the at tached survey q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Your p a r t i c i p a t i o n in t h i s study i s comple te ly vo lun ta r y and w i l l in no way a f f e c t your e l i g i b i l i t y to p a r t i c i p a t e in any o ther programs sponsored by U .B .C . A l l i n fo rmat ion i s s t r i c t l y c o n f i d e n t i a l and anonymous. To ensure anonymity, we ask tha t you do not w r i t e your name anywhere on t h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e w i l l take approx imate ly 50 minutes to complete. There are no r i g h t or wrong answers, on ly personal c h o i c e s . You a r e , o f course , comple te ly f r ee to choose not to answer s p e c i f i c ques t ions or to re fuse to re tu rn the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . However, because the q u a l i t y of the research depends on the ques t i onna i r e being f u l l y completed, we urge you to answer a l l q u e s t i o n s . I f you do complete the q u e s t i o n n a i r e , and re tu rn i t i n the stamped s e l f - a d d r e s s e d envelope which i s p rov ided , t h i s w i l l i n d i c a t e tha t you have consented to your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the s tudy . We hope tha t you w i l l f i n d answering t h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e i n t e r e s t i n g , and tha t the r e s u l t s of t h i s study w i l l be b e n e f i c i a l both to you and to o t h e r s . I f you would l i k e a copy of the research r e s u l t s , p lease i n d i c a t e your i n t e r e s t on the i n s t r u c t i o n sheet at the back of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Completed q u e s t i o n n a i r e s should be re turned as soon as p o s s i b l e . 119 Appendix D: Research Resu l t s Form and L e t t e r f o r I n te res ted F r iend or R e l a t i v e . I f you are i n t e r e s t e d in r e c e i v i n g a copy of the research a b s t r a c t summarizing the f i n d i n g s , p lease f i l l out the i n fo rma t ion below and detach i t from the r e s t of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Name: S t r e e t : C i t y : Pos ta l Code: Would you l i k e a l i s t of s e l f - h e l p re fe rences r e l a t e d to the t o p i c of parents and adu l t c h i l d d i vo rce? P lease i n d i c a t e i f you would l i k e a l i s t mai led to the above address . Yes No Would you l i k e a c o u n s e l l i n g r e f e r r a l i n your area to d i s cuss your f e e l i n g s about your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce? P lease i n d i c a t e i f you would l i k e a r e f e r r a l sent to the above address . Yes No Appendix F: Demographic In format ion P lease read a l l i n s t r u c t i o n s c a r e f u l l y before answer ing. There are no r i g h t or wrong answers, on ly personal c h o i c e s . P lease p rov ide the f o l l o w i n g in fo rmat ion about y o u r s e l f by c i r c l i n g the number which best desc r i bes your s i t u a t i o n . 1. Age: 2 . What i s your h ighes t l e v e l o f educat ion? Less than Grade 12 1 High school graduate 2 Some u n i v e r s i t y / c o l l e g e 3 Bache lo rs degree 4 Masters degree 5 Doctora l degree 6 3. What i s your cu r ren t occupa t iona l s t a t u s ? Homemaker 1 Employed f u l l - t i m e 2 Employed pa r t - t ime 3 Unemp loyed /D i sab i l i t y 4 R e t i r e d . 5 Student 6 Other 7 P lease s p e c i f y : 4 . What i s the approximate y e a r l y income, before t a x e s , of your household? Under $10,000 1 $10,000 to $19,999 2 $20,000 to S29.999 3 $30,000 to S49.999 4 $50,000 to $100,000 5 Over $100,000 6 5. What i s your e t hn i c background? O r i e n t a l 1 B lack 2 Caucasian 3 Nat i ve Indian 4 East Indian 5 Other 6 P lease s p e c i f y : 124 6. What i s your r e l i g i o u s p re fe rence? C a t h o l i c 1 Jewish 2 P ro tes tan t 3 None 4 Other 5 P lease s p e c i f y : 7. What i s your cu r ren t r e l a t i o n s h i p s t a t u s ? Mar r ied 1 L i v i n g wi th par tne r 2 S i n g l e (never marr ied) 3 Separated 4 Divorced 5 Widowed 6 8. Have you ever been separated or d i vo rced? Yes No 9. The f o l l o w i n g are some ques t ions f o r grandmothers. I f you are not a grandmother, p lease go on to ques t ion 10. How many c h i l d r e n does your sepa ra ted /d i vo r ced adu l t c h i l d have? One Two Three Four or more C i r c l e the number which best desc r i bes your r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th these g r a n d c h i l d r e n . Very c l o s e and warm 1 C lose 2 Somewhat c l o s e 3 I n d i f f e r e n t 4 D i s t a n t and cool 5 Has your r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th your g randch i1d / ren changed as a r e s u l t of your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce? P lease d e s c r i b e : Does your adu l t c h i l d have custody of your g randch i1d / ren? Yes No 125 10. I nd i ca te the number of years and/or months tha t you ' ve known about your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo r ce? Years Months 11. Have you ever r ece i ved any p r o f e s s i o n a l c o u n s e l l i n g , belonged to a support group or obta ined l ega l adv ice concern ing your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i vo rce? Yes No 126 Appendix G: S t r e s s o r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and con t ro l i t em. We are i n t e r e s t e d in how people respond when they con f ron t d i f f i c u l t or s t r e s s f u l events in t h e i r l i v e s . There are l o t s of ways to t r y to deal w i th s t r e s s . Take a few moments and th ink about the most s t r e s s f u l aspect of your c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e tha t you have exper ienced in the past yea r . By s t r e s s f u l we mean an aspect of your c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e tha t was d i f f i c u l t or t r o u b l i n g f o r you , e i t h e r because you f e l t bad about what happened, or because you had to use cons ide rab le e f f o r t to deal w i th the s i t u a t i o n . I f noth ing comes to mind tha t was s t r e s s f u l f o r you in the past y e a r , t h i nk o f the most cu r ren t s t r e s s f u l aspect of your c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e . Below are some examples of s t r e s s f u l exper iences tha t many parents of separated or d i vo rced adu l t c h i l d r e n f i n d they must deal w i t h . C i r c l e the category tha t you have found to be the most s t r e s s f u l to deal w i th in terms of coping wi th your c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on or d i v o r c e . Worrying about my c h i l d and h i s / h e r f u tu re . . . . 1 Los ing r e l a t i o n s h i p s ( e . g . , w i th g r a n d c h i l d , i n - l a w e t c . ) 2 Exper ienc ing f i n a n c i a l s t r a i n in he lp ing my c h i l d 3 Having c o n f l i c t i n g va lues or b e l i e f s about d i vo rce 4 Other 5 P lease desc r i be Descr ibe in more d e t a i l what you have found to be s t r e s s f u l . In t h i n k i n g about t h i s s t r e s s f u l aspect of your c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e , i n g e n e r a l , to what degree do you f ee l you have con t ro l over i t ? P lease c i r c l e the app rop r i a te number. 0 1 2 3 4 Not at a l l Somewhat A Great Deal 127 How upse t t i ng has t h i s exper ience been f o r you? P lease c i r c l e the app rop r i a te number. 0 1 2 3 4 Not at a l l Somewhat Very upse t t i ng upse t t i ng upse t t i ng 128 Appendix H: The Mod i f i ed Vers ion of the Inventory of S o c i a l l y Suppor t i ve Behaviours (ISSB) Now read each i tem below and i n d i c a t e , by c i r c l i n g the app rop r i a te number, the f requency of support vou rece i ved in the  past yea r . Where the statement i n d i c a t e s a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n or problem t r y to t h ink of the s t r e s s f u l exper ience vou have i d e n t i f i e d in d e a l i n g w i th your c h i l d ' s s e p a r a t i o n / d i v o r c e . P lease c i r c l e the app rop r i a te number. Never 1 Once in a w h i l e . . . 2 F a i r l y o f ten . . . . 3 Very o f ten 4 H o w o f t e n h a s s o m e o n e ( f r i e n d , r e l a t i v e , e t c . ) : 1. To ld you what they d id in a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n tha t was s i m i l a r to one you were expe r i enc ing 1 2 3 4 2. Suggested some a c t i o n tha t you should take in d e a l i n g w i th a problem you were having 1 2 3 4 3. Gave you in fo rmat ion tha t made a d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n c l e a r e r and e a s i e r to unders tand. . . . 1 2 3 4 4. Helped you understand why you don ' t do something wel 1 1 2 3 4 5. To ld you who you should see f o r a s s i s t a n c e w i th a problem tha t you were having 1 2 3 4 6. Commented on how you were d e a l i n g w i th a problem wi thout say ing i t was good or bad . . . . 1 2 3 4 7. Checked back wi th you to see i f you fo l l owed adv ice you were g iven on how to deal w i th a problem 1 2 3 4 8. Prov ided you w i th a p lace where you cou ld get away f o r awhi le 1 2 3 4 9. Watched a f t e r your possess ions wh i l e you were away 1 2 3 4 10. Gave or loaned you over $25 1 2 3 4 11. P rov ided you wi th some t r a n s p o r t a t i o n 1 2 3 4 129 Never 1 Once in a w h i l e . . . 2 F a i r l y o f ten . . . . 3 Very o f ten 4 H o w o f t e n h a s s o m e o n e ( f r i e n d , r e l a t i v e e t c . ) : 12. Loaned or gave you something (a phys i ca l ob jec t o ther than money) tha t you needed 1 2 3 4 13. Prov ided you wi th a p lace to s tay overn igh t . . . 1 2 3 4 14. P i t ched i n to help you do something tha t needed to get done, l i k e household chores or yardwork 1 2 3 4 15. Looked a f t e r a f am i l y or household member wh i l e you were away 1 2 3 4 16. Helped you wi th shopping 1 2 3 4 17. R igh t there w i th you ( p h y s i c a l l y ) i n a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n 1 2 3 4 18. To ld you you were OK j u s t the way you are . . . . 1 2 3 4 19. Comforted you by showing you phys i ca l a f f e c t i o n 1 2 3 4 20. L i s t ened to you t a l k about your p r i v a t e f e e l i n g s 1 2 3 4 21 . To ld you they f e l t very c l o s e to you 1 2 3 4 22. Joked and kidded to t r y to cheer you up 1 2 3 4 23. Expressed i n t e r e s t and concern in your w e l l - b e i n g 1 2 3 4 24. Went w i th you to see someone who helped you w i th a problem tha t you were having 1 2 3 4 25. To ld you tha t they would keep the th ings you t a l k e d about p r i v a t e l y j u s t between the two of you 1 2 3 4 26. Did some a c t i v i t y together w i th you to help you get your mind o f f th ings 1 2 3 4 27. To ld you how they f e l t i n a s i t u a t i o n tha t was s i m i l a r to yours 1 2 3 4 130 Now we would l i k e to know how o f ten you prov ided support to your s e p a r a t e d / d i v o r c e d adu l t c h i l d in the past year . P lease c i r c l e the app rop r i a te number. Never 1 Once in a w h i l e . . . 2 F a i r l y o f ten . . . . 3 Very o f ten 4 H o w o f t e n h a s y o u r c h i l d : 1. Depended on you f o r your guidance 1 2 3 4 2. Depended on you f o r f i n a n c i a l help 1 2 3 4 3. Ta lked over h i s / h e r problems and p r i v a t e f e e l i n g s w i th you 1 2 3 4 4. Depended on you f o r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n 1 2 3 4 5. Depended on you f o r something he/she needed (a p h y s i c a l ob jec t o ther than money) 1 2 3 4 H o w o f t e n h a v e y o u : 6. Helped your c h i l d w i th h i s / h e r household cho res . 1 2 3 4 7. Helped your c h i l d w i th h i s / h e r shopping 1 2 3 4 8. Been r i g h t there wi th your c h i l d ( p h y s i c a l l y ) when he/she was expe r i enc ing a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n 1 2 3 4 9. Comforted your c h i l d by showing h im/her p h y s i c a l a f f e c t i o n 1 2 3 4 10. Expressed i n t e r e s t and concern in your c h i l d ' s w e l l - b e i n g 1 2 3 4 11. To ld your c h i l d what you d id in a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n tha t was s i m i l a r to one he/she was going through 1 2 3 4 12. Suggested some a c t i o n your c h i l d should take to deal w i th a problem he/she was having . . . . 1 2 3 4 13. To ld your c h i l d where he/she cou ld go f o r a s s i s t a n c e w i th a problem they were having . . . 1 2 3 4 I s t h e s u p p o r t y o u p r o v i d e d t o y o u r a d u l t c h i l d l i m i t e d b y d i s t a n c e ? ( i . e . y o u r c h i l d d o e s n ' t l i v e c l o s e t o y o u ) Yes No (P lease check one) Appendix J : The R e l a t i o n s h i p Dimension of the Fami ly Environment Sca le (FES) Inc lud ing the Cohesion Subsca le We would l i k e to know about your f am i l y l i f e in g e n e r a l . Below are statements about f a m i l i e s . You are to dec ide which of these statements are t rue of your f am i l y and which are f a l s e . I f you t h i nk the statement i s t rue or most ly t rue of your f a m i l y , c i r c l e the T f o r t r u e . I f you th ink the statement i s f a l s e or most ly f a l s e of your f a m i l y , c i r c l e the F f o r f a l s e . You may f ee l tha t some of the statements are t rue f o r some fam i l y members and f a l s e f o r o t h e r s . C i r c l e T i f the statement i s t rue f o r most members. C i r c l e f a l s e i f the statement i s f a l s e f o r most members. Remember, we would l i k e to know what your f am i l y seems l i k e to you . So do not t r y to f i g u r e out how o ther members see your f a m i l y , but do g ive us your general impress ion of your f a m i l y f o r eacn s ta tement . 1. Fami ly members r e a l l y help and support one another T F 2 . Fami ly members o f ten keep t h e i r f e e l i n g s to themselves T F 3. We f i g h t a l o t i n our f am i l y T F 4. We o f ten seem to be k i l l i n g t ime when we ' re toge ther as a f am i l y T F 5. We say anyth ing we want to when we ' re toge ther as a f am i l y T 6. Fami ly members r a r e l y become openly angry T 7. We put a l o t o f energy i n t o what we do when we ' re toge ther as a f am i l y 8. I t ' s hard to "blow o f f steam" when we ' re toge ther as a f am i l y wi thout upse t t i ng somebody . . T 9. Fami ly members sometimes get so angry they throw th ings T 10. There i s f e e l i n g of togetherness in our f a m i l y . . . T 11. We t e l l each o ther about our personal problems. . . T 12. Fami ly members hard ly ever l ose t h e i r tempers . . . T 13. We r a r e l y vo lun tee r when something has to be done when we ' re together as a f am i l y T 14. I f we f ee l l i k e doing something on the spur of the moment we o f ten j u s t p i ck up and go . . . , 133 15. Fami ly members o f ten c r i t i c i z e each o ther T F 16. Fami ly members r e a l l y back each o ther up T F 17. Someone u s u a l l y gets upset i f you complain in our f a m i l y T F 18. Fami ly members sometimes h i t each o ther T F 19. There i s very l i t t l e group s p i r i t i n our f am i l y . . T F 20. Money and paying b i l l s i s openly t a l k e d about i n our f am i l y T F 21 . I f t h e r e ' s a disagreement in our f a m i l y , we t r y hard to smooth th ings over and keep the peace . . . T F 22. We r e a l l y get a long we l l w i th each o ther T F 23. We are u s u a l l y c a r e f u l about what we say to each o ther T F 24. Fami ly members o f ten t r y to one-up or out-do each o ther T F 25. There i s p len ty of t ime and a t t e n t i o n f o r everyone i n our f am i l y T F 26. There are a l o t o f spontaneous d i s c u s s i o n s in our f am i l y T F 27. In our f a m i l y , we b e l i e v e you don ' t ever get anywhere by r a i s i n g your vo i ce T F 134 Appendix K: The COPE s c a l e We are i n t e r e s t e d in what vou g e n e r a l l y d id or f e l t when you exper ienced the s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n tha t you ' ve j u s t d e s c r i b e d . Respond to each of the f o l l o w i n g items by c i r c l i n a the app rop r i a te number f o r each, us ing the response cho ices l i s t e d j u s t below. P lease t r y to respond to each i tem s e p a r a t e l y in  your mind from each o ther i tem. Choose your answers t h o u g h t f u l l y , and make your answers as t rue FOR YOU as you can. P lease answer every i tem. There are no " r i g h t " or "wrong" answers, so choose the most accura te answer f o r YOU—not what you th ink "most peop le" would say or do. I nd i ca te what YOU d id in the oast year whan YOU exper ienced the  s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n vou have .just desc r ibed bv c i r c l i n g the  app rop r i a te number. I d i d n ' t do t h i s at a l 1 1 I d id t h i s a l i t t l e b i t 2 I d id t h i s a medium amount . . . 3 I d id t h i s a l o t 4 1. I t r i e d to grow as a person as a r e s u l t o f the exper ience 1 2 3 4 2. I turned to work or o ther s u b s t i t u t e a c t i v i t i e s to take my mind o f f t h ings 1 2 3 4 3. I got upset and l e t my emotions out 1 2 3 4 4. I t r i e d to get adv ice from someone about what to do 1 2 3 4 5. I concent ra ted my e f f o r t s on doing something about i t 1 2 3 4 6. I s a i d to myse l f " t h i s i s n ' t r e a l . " 1 2 3 4 7. I put my t r u s t i n God 1 2 3 4 8. I admit ted to myse l f tha t I c o u l d n ' t deal w i th i t , and q u i t t r y i n g 1 2 3 4 9. I r e s t r a i n e d myse l f from doing anyth ing too q u i c k l y 1 2 3 4 10. I d i scussed my f e e l i n g s w i th someone 1 2 3 4 11. I got used to the idea tha t i t happened 1 2 3 4 12. I t a l k e d to someone to f i n d out more about the s i t u a t i o n 1 2 3 4 135 I d i d n ' t do t h i s at a l 1 1 I d id t h i s a l i t t l e b i t 2 I d id t h i s a medium amount . . . 3 I d id t h i s a l o t 4 13. I kept myse l f from g e t t i n g d i s t r a c t e d by o ther thoughts or a c t i v i t i e s 1 2 3 4 14. I daydreamed about th ings o ther than t h i s . . . . 1 2 3 4 15. I got upset , and was r e a l l y aware of i t 1 2 3 4 16. I sought God's help 1 2 3 4 17. I made a p lan of a c t i o n 1 2 3 4 18. I accepted tha t t h i s had happened and tha t i t c a n ' t be changed 1 2 3 4 19. I he ld o f f doing anyth ing about i t u n t i l the s i t u a t i o n permi t ted 1 2 3 4 20. I t r i e d to get emotional support from f r i e n d s or r e l a t i v e s 1 2 3 4 21 . I j u s t gave up t r y i n g to reach my goal 1 2 3 4 22. I took a d d i t i o n a l a c t i o n to t r y to get r i d of the problem 1 2 3 4 23. I re fused to b e l i e v e tha t i t had happened. . . . 1 2 3 4 24. I l e t my f e e l i n g s out 1 2 3 4 25. I t r i e d to see i t i n a d i f f e r e n t l i g h t , to make i t seem more p o s i t i v e 1 2 3 4 26. I t a l k e d to someone who cou ld do something concre te about the problem 1 2 3 4 27. I s l e p t more than usual 1 2 3 4 28. I t r i e d to come up wi th a s t r a t e g y about what to do 1 2 3 4 29. I focused on d e a l i n g wi th t h i s problem, and when necessary l e t o ther th ings s l i d e a l i t t l e . . . . 1 2 3 4 30. I got sympathy and understanding from someone 1 2 3 4 31 . I gave up the attempt to get what I wanted . . . 1 2 3 4 136 I d i d n ' t do t h i s at a l l 1 I d id t h i s a l i t t l e b i t 2 I d id t h i s a medium amount . . . 3 I d id t h i s a l o t 4 32. I looked f o r something good i n what was happening 1 2 3 4 33. I thought about how I might best handle the problem 1 2 3 4 34. I pretended tha t i t hadn ' t r e a l l y happened . . . 1 2 3 4 35. I made sure not to make mat ters worse by a c t i n g too soon 1 2 3 4 36. I t r i e d hard to prevent o ther th ings from i n t e r f e r i n g wi th my e f f o r t s at d e a l i n g w i th t h i s 1 2 3 4 37. I went to movies or watched TV, to th ink about i t l e s s 1 2 3 4 38. I accepted the r e a l i t y of the f a c t tha t i t happened 1 2 3 4 39. I asked people who had had s i m i l a r exper iences what they d id 1 2 3 4 40. I f e l t a l o t o f emotional d i s t r e s s and I found myse l f exp ress ing those f e e l i n g s a l o t 1 2 3 4 41 . I took d i r e c t a c t i o n to get around the problem 1 2 3 4 42. I t r i e d to f i n d comfort i n my r e l i g i o n 1 2 3 4 43. I f o rced myse l f to wa i t f o r the r i g h t t ime to do something 1 2 3 4 44. I reduced the amount of e f f o r t I was pu t t i ng i n t o s o l v i n g the problem 1 2 3 4 45. I t a l k e d to someone about how I f e l t 1 2 3 4 46. I learned to l i v e wi th i t 1 2 3 4 47. I put as ide o ther a c t i v i t i e s in order to concen t ra te on t h i s 1 2 3 4 48. I thought hard about what s teps to take 1 2 3 4 49. I acted as though i t hadn ' t even happened. . . . 1 2 3 4 137 I d i d n ' t do t h i s at a l l 1 I d id t h i s a l i t t l e b i t 2 I d id t h i s a medium amount . . . 3 I d id t h i s a l o t 4 50. I d i d what had to be done, one step at a t ime. . 1 2 3 4 51. I l e a r n t something from the exper ience 1 2 3 4 52. I prayed more than usual 1 2 3 4 Appendix L Demographic C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Grandmothers (N=70) 138 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c Percent Number of g randch i l d ren One 28.6 Two 47.1 Three 20.0 Four or more 4 .3 R e l a t i o n s h i p q u a l i t y Very c l o s e 61.4 C lose 21.4 Somewhat c l o s e 10.0 D i s t a n t 4 .3 No con tac t 2.9 Grandmother r e l a t i o n s h i p changed Yes 64.3 No 35.7 Q u a l i t y of change (n=45) Less i nvo l ved - d i s t a n t 62.2 More i nvo l ved - c l o s e r 37.8 Custody F u l l custody 47.1 No custody 31.4 J o i n t 17.1 Don ' t know 4.3 Appendix M: Wr i t ten Comments from Respondents Responses Re la ted To F e e l i n g He lp less or G u i l t y S t r ess has been most ly over f e e l i n g h e l p l e s s in the s i t u a t i o n . Could on ly most ly s tand-by and l i s t e n . A l s o f e l t some g u i l t over being the mother and f a i l u r e as a pa ren t . Fee ls inadequate or r e s p o n s i b l e f o r o f f s p r i n g ' s " f a i l u r e " i n mar r i age . Has doubts about what she d i d n ' t do or cou ld have done d i f f e r e n t l y to help her c h i l d . Quest ions whether she i s he lp ing her adu l t c h i l d enough and whether c h i l d should move in w i th her , or be supported f i n a n c i a l l y . As a mother one s u f f e r s d i f f e r e n t g u i l t f e e l i n g s , but we t a l k about them and tha t helps to r e s o l v e them. Adu l t c h i l d wishes to handle s i t u a t i o n on her own, l e a v i n g parents f e e l i n g t o t a l l y h e l p l e s s and u s e l e s s . Feel at l o s s to he lp , as adu l t c h i l d s t i l l l i v e s i n f a m i l y home u n t i l i t i s s o l d . Responses Re la ted To Past D ivorce Own past d i vo r ce i n t e n s i f i e d c h i l d ' s exper ience f o r mother. Went through past f e e l i n g s around own d i vo r ce a l l over aga in . Emotional s t r e s s over d i vo rce i s l e s s than some mothers because of own d i v o r c e , c h i l d ' s unhappy mar r iage , and cont inued con tac t w i th g r a n d c h i l d r e n . Having grown up i n a s p l i t f am i l y i t was very important tha t my f a m i l y succeed. Responses Re la ted to Abuse Glad tha t adu l t c h i l d found the s t reng th to get out o f a d e s t r u c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p . S t r ess comes from the process of watching c h i l d disengage from an abus ive pa r tne r and the emot ional e f f e c t s of abuse on g r a n d c h i l d . The d i v o r c e came about because of spouse 's hab i t o f substance abuse. Feel concern over my adu l t c h i l d who has an a l c o h o l / d r u g problem. He i s n ' t v i o l e n t or abus i ve . Responses Re la ted to the Pain of D ivorce A parent c a n ' t take over and so l ve t h e i r c h i l d ' s problems. A l l parents can do i s be suppor t i ve and l o v i n g , but i t r e a l l y hur ts when they hu r t . Focused on adu l t c h i l d ' s p a i n , ye t pain of g r a n d c h i l d and l o s s of c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th c h i l d - i n - l a w are not f a r beh ind . Sometimes these pa ins are worse. No one un less they have had t h i s exper ience can t r u l y r e l a t e to the hear tache and sadness. I t a f f e c t s so many l i v e s , b reak ing up a f am i l y u n i t . I t t ea rs c h i l d r e n a p a r t . Responses Re la ted to the C h i l d or C h i l d - I n - L a w R e l a t i o n s h i p W i l l always have concerns over r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th my c h i l d - i n - l a w and her new l i f e , and over my c h i l d ' s l o s s of a meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p. Feel l o s s of c loseness and l o s s of respec t and t r u s t toward adu l t c h i l d . Adu l t c h i l d has moved back home and mother ends up w i th chores of c l e a n i n g h i s room, doing h i s laundry e t c . Fee ls angry at adu l t c h i l d ' s in f r ingement on her t e r r i t o r y . 141 Prov ided a home and a s s i s t a n c e to adu l t c h i l d and g randch i l d ren f o r year and a h a l f . Regrets not keeping op in ion of spouse to h e r s e l f , a l though communication was encouraged between mother and daughter . Have always been fond of c h i l d - i n - l a w and he of me. We s t i l l see each o t h e r . Have a good r e l a t i o n s h i p w i th my c h i l d - i n - l a w . We get together and laugh a l o t . I t s a shame tha t a spouse can d i s r u p t so many l i v e s . Have b e t t e r understanding of problems cu r ren t to own c h i l d r e n ' s and g r a n d c h i l d r e n ' s genera t ion because of the d i v o r c e . Responses Re la ted to Grandch i ld ren Person should th ink about what 's important - the g randch i l d ren -so no l a y i n g of blame, and remain f r i e n d l y to a l l . Must support the g r a n d c h i l d r e n . Had no idea i t would be so hard to ad jus t to t h i s s i t u a t i o n . Went through every emotion p o s s i b l e , ye t am thank fu l there were no c h i l d r e n i n v o l v e d . I d o n ' t know how I would have coped not see ing them. F ind i t upse t t i ng when o t h e r s , who know of marr iage breakup, say i t i s a b l e s s i n g there were no c h i l d r e n because we longed f o r a g r a n d c h i l d . Responses Re la ted to D is tance Feel somewhat detached from c h i l d ' s d i vo r ce s i t u a t i o n due to d i s t a n c e , both p h y s i c a l l y and e m o t i o n a l l y . Other c h i l d r e n who were separated l i v e d f a r t h e r away so d id not have c l o s e f e e l i n g s about t h e i r s i t u a t i o n compared to adu l t c h i l d who l i v e s c l o s e by. Responses Re la ted to Legal Concerns Doesn ' t f ee l l ega l department r e a l l y c a r e s . Lawyers want a p e r s o n ' s money and judges don ' t look i n t o mat ters good enough. The w e l l - b e i n g of the c h i l d r e n should be number one. Fee ls cou r t s are not aware of the harmful f u tu re e f f e c t s of a spouse ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to a c h i l d and tha t a parent should be fo rb idden to see a c h i l d i f abuse or dev ian t hab i t s e x i s t . There shou ld be changes i n the cour t system. Honesty doesn ' t seem to mat ter any more as o ther pa r tne r can make up s t o r i e s i n cour t and get away wi th i t . Suppor t -Re la ted Responses Support g iven to adu l t c h i l d was not monetary as c h i l d i s independent . Mother o f f e red emotional and p h y s i c a l suppor t . Mother was helped by the adv ice of her adu l t c h i l d dur ing the s e p a r a t i o n . Husband has been a tower of s t reng th to respondent and adu l t c h i l d . They 've made f i n a n c i a l and a s s i s t a n c e d e c i s i o n s toge the r . Own f a i t h was comfort and support to mother, e l i m i n a t i n g much f r e t t i n g and wo r r y i ng . Was dumbfounded by news of d i v o r c e . Saw c o u n s e l l o r to f i n d out how to best support adu l t c h i l d e m o t i o n a l l y , and read books. A c h i l d does not need adv ice or i n t e r f e r e n c e from her mother, but suppor t , love and acceptance. Mothers should keep an open mind about marr iage breakup, s i n c e they do not know much about c h i l d ' s marr iage p a r t n e r ' s s i de i n the d i s p u t e . Divorce In General And Need For P r o f e s s i o n a l Help Need to l ea rn about ou rse l ves before s t r a i g h t e n i n g out each o the r . Would l i k e to see support groups and c o u n s e l l i n g . D ivorces are too easy. S t a b i l i t y seems an o ld fash ion v i r t u e now and s o c i e t y i s paying h e a v i l y f o r these broken homes as c h i l d r e n need both pa ren ts . A s i m i l i a r d i vo r ce s i t u a t i o n cou ld a r i s e among young people and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Much more p r o f e s s i o n a l help i s needed. Responses Re la ted To Ques t ionna i re Support to adu l t c h i l d ques t ions (p. 9) cou ld be repeated us ing ' i n - l a w ' , as mother has had to support adu l t c h i l d - i n - l a w more o f ten than own o f f s p r i n g . Most ques t ions apply to f a m i l i e s who l i v e c l o s e by, ye t many mothers do not l i v e c l o s e to t h e i r adu l t c h i l d r e n . Adu l t c h i l d l i v e s on east coast so i t was d i f f i c u l t to answer some of the q u e s t i o n s . Pages 10 and 11 were d i f f i c u l t to answer. Had t r o u b l e d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g f am i l y now and general f am i l y l i f e when c h i l d r e n were growing up. Found many aspects of ques t i onna i r e f r u s t r a t i n g e s p e c i a l l y l a s t s e c t i o n on f a m i l y . Th is q u e s t i o n n a i r e i s l i k e o t h e r s . C a n ' t r e a l l y answer t rue or f a l s e because there are so many v a r i a b l e s . M i s t r u s t v a l i d i t y of us ing an American t e s t f o r a Canadian s i t u a t i o n . Th is i s a good q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Thank you and good luck on your su rvey . 144 Found q u e s t i o n n a i r e i n t e r e s t i n g and a form of therapy to complete as i t focused mother on her f e e l i n g s . Pages 4, 5, and 6 a r e n ' t e x a c t l y c o r r e c t as emotions or r e a c t i o n s change dur ing the course of a s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n . Responses Re la ted To Study Very wor thwhi le e f f o r t . Good l u c k ! Thank you f o r t h i s g rea t oppu r t un i t y . Have enjoyed answering the ques t ions and hope r e s u l t s w i l l b e n e f i t you in your ca ree r and be of he lp to many. Good l u c k . I f need anyth ing more she i s w i l l i n g to be con tac ted . Other Responses B e l i e v e s o c i e t y i s ignorant of na tu ra l mechanics of emotions and i s t h e r e f o r e unable to respond to emotional i n t e r a c t i o n s adequate ly Note. The above comments were made by 51 mothers i n response to a request f o r a d d i t i o n a l comments i nc luded at the end of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . 145 Appendix N Correlations of Demographic. Support, and Coping Variables (N=84) Measure Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 Age -2 Education -.14 -3 Income -.40 .33 -4 Div-Knowl .36 -.12 -.07 -5 Upsetting -.09 -.13 -.06 -.33 -6 In-Support -.31 -.05 .11 -.14 .21 -7 Control -.14 .12 .11 .07 -.39 .15 -8 Cohesion -.19 .11 .24 .03 -.20 .20 .38 -9 E-Support -.18 -.08 .13 .09 -.02 .20 .17 .33 -10 I-Support -.19 .10 -.05 -.05 .03 .19 -.06 .14 .41 -11 T-Support -.06 .07 -.04 -.02 .09 -.02 -.02 .05 .34 .20 -12 Act-Cope -.17 .07 .06 .11 -.02 .25 .19 .10 .33 .15 .06 -13 Av-Cope -.12 -.23 -.12 -.16 .50 .11 -.37 -.31 .24 .24 .20 .12 Note. Div-Knowl is mothers' knowledge of the separation or divorce. Upsetting is how upsetting the separation- or divorce-related stressor was to mothers. In-Support is support integration, the support provided to an adult c h i l d . E-Support is emotional support, I-Support is informational support, and T-Support is tangible support. Act-Cope is the summed raw score Active coping. Av-cope is the summed raw score Avoidant coping, r.01(80)=.28, r.05(80)=.22. Adjusted r.01(80)=.52, r.05(80)=.47 (Shavelson, 1981). 146 Appendix 0: R e l a t i v e A c t i v e and Avoidant Coping Procedure R e l a t i v e scores were c a l c u l a t e d accord ing to the s c o r i n g procedure proposed by V i t a l i a n o et a l . (1987). The raw mean scores of the mental disengagement, behav io ra l disengagement, and focus on and ven t ing emotion subsca les were summed to y i e l d a t o t a l avo idant coping s c o r e . Th is score was then d i v i d e d by the t o t a l summed raw means of the 13 COPE s u b s c a l e s . S i m i l a r l y , the raw means of the a c t i v e cop ing , p l ann ing , and p o s i t i v e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and growth subsca les were summed to y i e l d an a c t i v e coping s c o r e . Th is score was then d i v i d e d by the t o t a l coping s c o r e . C o r r e l a t i o n s Between V a r i a b l e s Means, s tandard d e v i a t i o n s and p a i r - w i s e c o r r e l a t i o n s are g iven in Table 0 - 1 . With respec t to the r e l a t i v e use of A c t i v e and Avo idant coping in comparison to the use of a l l coping s t r a t e g i e s , A c t i v e coping accounted f o r 26% of the coping used, whereas Avo idant coping accounted f o r 20%. Pearson (1988) a l s o found tha t parents expe r i enc ing an adu l t c h i l d ' s sepa ra t i on used more a c t i v e coping s t r a t e g i e s than avo idant s t r a t e g i e s . S i m i l i a r c o r r e l a t i o n s were observed amongst c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s and r e l a t i v e use of A c t i v e or Avoidant coping as was observed f o r the summed raw score A c t i v e and Avoidant coping modes, w i th two e x c e p t i o n s . Emotional support showed no or low c o r r e l a t i o n s wi th both r e l a t i v e A c t i v e coping (r = - . 0 3 ) , and r e l a t i v e Avoidant coping (r = - . 1 1 ) . In fo rmat iona l support a l s o showed low c o r r e l a t i o n s w i th r e l a t i v e A c t i v e coping ( r = - . 1 2 ) , and r e l a t i v e Avo idant coping (r = - . 0 3 ) . R e l a t i v e A c t i v e coping had a 147 Table 0-1 C o r r e l a t i o n s of P r e d i c t o r V a r i a b l e s and R e l a t i v e Coping (N=84') Measure V a r i a b l e Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Cohesion 7.44 2.36 -2 Cont ro l 1.26 1.33 .38 -3 E-Support 26.05 7.78 .33 .17 -4 I -Support 12.49 4.02 .14 - . 0 6 .41 -5 T-Support 12.98 4.75 .05 - . 0 2 .34 .20 -6 Act -Cope 32.58 7.60 .10 .19 .33 .15 .06 -7 Av-Cope 24.62 6.17 - .31 - . 3 7 .24 .24 .20 .12 -8 R e l - A c t .26 .04 .17 .28 - . 0 3 - . 1 2 - . 0 9 .74 - . 3 5 -9 Re l -Av .20 .04 - . 3 4 - . 4 5 - .11 - . 0 3 .13 - . 4 4 .76 - . 5 5 Note. E-Support i s emotional suppor t , I -Support i s i n fo rma t iona l suppor t , T-Support i s t a n g i b l e suppor t , Act -Cope i s the summed raw score A c t i v e cop ing , Av-Cope i s the summed raw score Avoidant cop ing , R e l - A c t i s r e l a t i v e A c t i v e cop ing , Re l -Av i s r e l a t i v e Avo idant cop ing , r .01(80)= .28, r .05(80)=.22. Ad jus ted r .01(80)=.46, r .05(80)=.41 (Shave lson, 1981). 148 moderate r e l a t i o n s h i p wi th r e l a t i v e Avoidant coping (r = - . 5 5 ) . M u l t i p l e Regress ion Analyses Using the same format as was used f o r the summed raw score A c t i v e and Avoidant cop ing , two separa te s imul taneous m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n ana lyses were conducted wi th r e l a t i v e Avoidant coping and r e l a t i v e A c t i v e coping as the c r i t e r i o n v a r i a b l e s . R e l a t i v e Avoidant coo ing . Table 0-2 shows the summary of f i n d i n g s from the m u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s of p r e d i c t o r s of r e l a t i v e Avo idant cop ing . The t o t a l equat ion p r e d i c t i n g r e l a t i v e Avo idant coping reached s i g n i f i c a n c e , F (5,78) = 5 .36 , p_<.0003. One v a r i a b l e , perce ived con t ro l ( t ( l , 7 8 ) = - 3 . 4 7 , p_<.0009) was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to r e l a t i v e Avoidant cop ing . A l l the other v a r i a b l e s d id not reach s i g n i f i c a n c e . The s tandard i zed r e g r e s s i o n c o e f f i c i e n t suggests tha t l e s s pe rce ived con t ro l i s a s s o c i a t e d w i th r e l a t i v e l y g rea te r use of Avo idant cop ing . A l t o g e t h e r 26% (21% adjusted) of the v a r i a b i l i t y i n r e l a t i v e Avo idant coping cou ld be p red i c ted by scores on the f i v e p r e d i c t o r v a r i a b l e s ; f am i l y cohes ion , pe rce ived c o n t r o l , emotional suppor t , t a n g i b l e suppor t , and i n fo rma t i ona l suppor t . R e l a t i v e A c t i v e cop ing . Table 0-3 shows the r e s u l t s of the r e g r e s s i o n s . Al though the t o t a l equat ion p r e d i c t i n g r e l a t i v e A c t i v e coping d id not reach s i g n i f i c a n c e (F (5,78) = 1.79, p_>.12), pe rce ived con t ro l was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to r e l a t i v e A c t i v e coping ( t ( l , 7 8 ) = 2 .05 , p_<.04). None of the o ther v a r i a b l e s were s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to r e l a t i v e A c t i v e cop ing . The s tanda rd i zed r e g r e s s i o n c o e f f i c i e n t i n d i c a t e s tha t g rea te r pe rce ived con t ro l i s a s s o c i a t e d w i th g rea te r r e l a t i v e use of A c t i v e cop ing . Table 0-2 M u l t i p l e Regress ion A n a l y s i s of P r e d i c t o r s o f R e l a t i v e Avoidant Cooing CN=84) Source B t P. (d f= l ,78) Cohesion - . 2 0 -1 .76 ns Tang ib le Support .15 1.43 ns In fo rmat iona l Support - . 0 5 - . 4 4 ns Cont ro l - . 3 7 -3 .47 <.0009 Emotional Support - . 0 5 - .41 ns Note. B i s the s tandard i zed r e g r e s s i o n c o e f f i c i e n t . Percentage o f va r i ance i n r e l a t i v e Avoidant coping accounted f o r by the r e g r e s s i o n equat ion (R-squared) i s .26 (Adjusted . 2 1 ) . Ove ra l l F(5,78) = 5.36 p.<.0003. 150 Table 0-3 M u l t i p l e Regress ion A n a l y s i s o f P r e d i c t o r s of R e l a t i v e A c t i v e  Cooing (N=84) Source B t (d f= l ,78) p. Cohesion .11 .92 ns Tang ib le Support - . 0 5 - . 4 6 ns In fo rmat iona l Support - . 0 9 - . 7 2 ns Cont ro l .24 2.05 <.04 Emotional Support - . 0 5 - .41 ns Note. B i s the s tandard i zed r e g r e s s i o n c o e f f i c i e n t . Percentage of va r i ance in A c t i v e coping accounted f o r by the r e g r e s s i o n equat ion (R-squared) i s .10 (Adjusted . 0 5 ) . O v e r a l l F(5,78) = 1.79 p_>.12. 

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