Family structure, adolescent stress and coping.
Due to the rapid onset of westernization, there is a remarkable change in the life styles and the family structure of the black South African population in favour of smaller and economically manageable families. There is also an increase in political as well as family violence in black communities. children, adolescents and young adults are subject to these rapid changes. Family structures and life styles are also affected by these changes. The present study seeks to investigate the relationship between family structures and styles of coping with stressful life events. Hypotheses concerning this relationship are that adolescents from nuclear and extended family structures differ in handling stressful life events. Questions relating to family relations, stressful life events and ways of coping.were administered to 100 standard. 9 and ' 1 0 students, of which 80 were females and 20 were males. The level of stress was assessed by Moos' "Family Environment Scale" and coping efforts were assessed by Folkman and Lazarus' s "Ways of Coping Checklist". All these instruments were translated into zulu to avoid second language problems. A statistical analysis of the results was undertaken. The results did not show significant differences between coping styles of adolescent members of the two family structures. There were, however, some overlaps between the nuclear and the extended family structures concerning the way stressful life events were perceived.
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