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Korean Journal of Child Health Nursing 1998;4(2):193-206.
A Study of Stress, Stress Coping Style and Health Symptoms in 6th Grade Elementary School Children.
Nam Jin Cho, In Sook Park
The purpose of this study was to examine the stressors and stress coping styles of 6th grade elementary school children and to explore the relationship between stressful life events and health symptoms and the effects of coping style which is theoretically considered to mediate the relationship between stress and health symptoms. The study subjects consisted of 329 in 6th grade elementary school children in Cheong-Ju city. Of the 329 subjects, 171 were boys and 158 were girls. For this study, three kinds of questionnaires were adopted as follows ; 1) Feel Bad Scale (FBS) by Lewis et al., 2) Lazarus-Folkman's Way of coping questionnaire 3) Hee Sun Shin's Health Symptom questionnaire(HSQ) The researcher visited the school and collected data in the class using the questionnaire method after an explanation of the purpose and procedures was given to the children. Data collection was done for 10 days(from 5th to 15th of July 1997). The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis using the SAS statistical program. The results of this study were as follows; 1. The mean score for the FBS was 211.37(range : 77-427). The most severe stressors perceived by children were parental divorce and other's smash or steal of my things. The most frequently experienced stressful life events were conflict with siblings and being scolded for other's fault. 2. The most frequently used stress coping style was the active coping (M=17.85), followed by passive(M=13.64) and magical one(M=13.42). 3. The mean score for the HSQ was 23.30(range : 0-72) The most frequently complained health symptoms were headache and having much worry about everything. 4. The was a significant relationship between stressful life events and health symptoms(r=.60, p<.001). Also, stressful life events were positively related with passive coping(r=.27, p<.001) and magical coping(r=.38, p<.001). Health symptoms were positively correlated with passive coping(r=.33, p<.001) and magical coping(r=.41, p<.001). 5. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that the most powerful predictor was the variable of stressful life events. Health concerns, magical coping style, passive coping style and active coping style accounted for 49.15% of the variance in health symptoms. This study revealed that stressful life events correlated with health symptoms in 6th grade elementary school children and passive coping and magical coping had mediating effects on this relationship. The implication for nursing is that there is a need to develop supportive interventions for high risk population to decrease health problems due to stress.
Key words: Stress; Stress coping style; Health symptoms
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