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01-02-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2015

Impact of Coping Efficacy and Acculturation on Psychopathology in Adolescents Following a Wildfire

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2015
Auteurs:
Krystal M. Lewis, Audra K. Langley, Russell T. Jones

Abstract

There has been a considerable amount of research demonstrating links between disasters and negative life events, PTSD symptoms, and psychological distress in youth. Sociodemographic variables, such as race and gender, influence the expression of trauma and anxiety following disaster events. The current study sought to explore relationships among coping efficacy, acculturation, exposure, and psychological symptoms in African American and Caucasian adolescents who experienced wildfires. Data was collected from 206 adolescents, between 14 and 16 years of age, 3 and 10-months following the wildfires. For both groups, exposure and coping efficacy predicted trauma symptoms at 3-months post-wildfires. Furthermore, coping efficacy moderated the relationship between acculturation and trauma for African American adolescents. Exposure and coping efficacy continued to predict trauma symptoms at 10-months post wildfires for the Caucasians; whereas, exposure and acculturation were significant predictors of trauma for the African American adolescents. Overall results suggest that coping efficacy and acculturation are significant factors for African American adolescents, whereas acculturation is not a significant factor for Caucasian adolescents. Further research on intra-group variation is necessary in order to determine the impact of acculturation and other cultural factors that may affect post-disaster functioning in African American adolescents.

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