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Purpose – To synthesize the literature on coping among adolescents of color in the U.S., we examine normative and circumstantial stressors, describe coping strategies, and…
Purpose – To synthesize the literature on coping among adolescents of color in the U.S., we examine normative and circumstantial stressors, describe coping strategies, and summarize the literature on coping for the promotion of well-being among adolescents of color, including descriptive and intervention studies.
Methods/approach – We conducted an extensive review of the literature in four scientific databases (medline, CINAHL, ERIC, and PyschInfo) between July 2010 and June 2011 (key words: (minority) adolescent(s) (of color), cope/coping, stress (ors), and adaptation/psychological). Studies included in our review were peer-reviewed articles published between 2000 and June 2011 that presented original data on the coping strategies and outcomes of adolescents of color (e.g., studies including a majority from underrepresented racial/ethnic communities) between the ages of 12 and 18.
Findings – We identified a total of 91 articles for inclusion, including 83 descriptive and 8 intervention studies. We use a matrix approach to compare descriptive studies by their purpose, study design, sample, targeted stressors, and outcomes. We then discuss the eight interventions we identified, highlighting the targeted population, intervention protocol/adaptation, feasibility/acceptability, and study outcomes.
Implications – The breadth and depth of research on coping among adolescents of color has improved significantly over the past decade, yet our review reveals several areas where further exploration is needed, including research on intra-group differences, validation of coping measures in diverse groups, measurement of the effectiveness of coping strategies over time, and most importantly, the translation of available knowledge on effective coping into culturally relevant, multifaceted interventions for adolescents and their families.