October 26, 2010

Adolescents In Private Schools Employ More Efficient Strategies To Cope With Problems

Adolescents enrolled in private schools employ more efficient strategies to cope with their problems than students in public schools. Further, they also use emotion-oriented coping, as drawn from a study carried out at the University of Granada, recently published in the prestigious journal Psicotema.

This study revealed that students in private schools present a better problem-oriented coping. This means that, when facing a problem, they use more frequently strategies aimed at solving the problem. Some examples of such strategies are concentrating deeply when solving a problem, seeking physical entertainment "“as sports"“, focusing on the positive aspects of the situation, etc.

Additionally, adolescents in private Secondary School centers present emotion-oriented coping, which means that they employ more strategies based on their relations with the others. Some examples of such strategies are seeking spiritual support, talking with their friends, seeking professional assistance, etc.

A Sample of 4,500 adolescents

To carry out this study, the researchers of the University of Granada worked with a sample of 4,456 Spanish Secondary School adolescents aged between 13 and 18. Of this sample, 47.3% were men and 52.7% were women. 67.6% attended public centers and 32.4% attended private centers.

This research was conducted by Mª Paz Bermúdez, Inmaculada Teva y Gualberto Buela-Casal, professors at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Granada. Bermúdez points out that "the results obtained show that the type of education center may affect students' behavior, due to the different social, cultural and/or education structure that each center has".

Therefore, the type of center may have an impact on how adolescents cope with their problems. In addition, "when adolescents cope poorly with a problem, this may lead them to high-risk behaviors such as drug abuse, crime or sexual risk behavior".

The University of Granada researcher states that, in the light of this study, "future researches should analyze how the type of strategy employed by adolescents in public and private centers affects their actual behavior in specific risky situations, such as drug abuse, sexuality, etc.


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