Repressive adaptation has been conceptualized as one pathway to psychological resilience in children with cancer, but the physiological costs of maintaining a repressive adaptive style are currently unknown. The goal of this study was to examine physiological functioning as a function of adaptive style in children with cancer (N = 120) and healthy controls (N = 120). Children completed self-report measures of state anxiety and defensiveness prior to participating in three verbal stress tasks while monitoring blood pressure, electrocardiogram, and electrodermal response, and rated their anxiety following each task. Findings indicated no consistent differences in baseline indices and physiological reactivity as a function of adaptive style or health status (cancer vs. control). In addition, children identified as having a repressive adaptive style did not exhibit greater verbal-autonomic discrepancy than low-anxious children. In contrast to findings with adults, children with a repressive adaptive style do not appear to experience adverse effects of this coping style in terms of physiological reactivity.
- Adaptive style
- Childhood cancer
- Physiological reactivity
- Repressive coping
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
Adaptive style and physiological reactivity during a laboratory stress paradigm in children with cancer and healthy controls. / Williams, Natalie A.; Allen, Michael T.; Phipps, Sean.In: Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 34, No. 5, 01.10.2011, p. 372-380.
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