Proactive Coping in Youth and Old Age as an Indicator of Identity Formation in an Anormative Context

Keywords: proactivity, adolescence, aging, transition, identity, medical practice, education


Objective: This paper provides a comprehensive investigation of coping with distress, with a focus on the proactive approach, which is of particular significance for individuals who manage identity transitions periods. Researchers discuss findings from two independent projects analyzing individual variation in strategies for coping with difficult situations at the extremes of life: adolescence and old age. Both studies were conducted between 2014 and 2016. Proactivity preferences were analyzed in a sample of 332 adolescents. Similarly, results collected among 1552 seniors were analyzed. The tools used in the analysis were the Proactive Coping Inventory for Adolescents (PCI-A) and the Proactive Coping Inventory for Adults (PCI).

Results: Our findings show that the strategies preferred by the adolescent group included: proactive coping, looking for emotional support and preventive coping. Whereas the results for the elderly group showed their preference for looking for emotional support, reflective and preventive coping. Nevertheless the proactive coping strategy was chosen by adolescents as well as the elderly. The analysis performed demonstrated no significant difference in the reflective coping strategy for the compared age groups.

Conclusions: The findings can be explained by theoretical accounts that question the classical developmental models with normative life trajectories and develop more person-oriented idiographic approach with decollectivisation of the life course thesis (Loos, 2012)  becoming increasingly evident.  

Key words: proactiveness, adolescence, ageing, transition, identity, medical practise, education



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How to Cite
Cierzniewska, R., & Błachnio, A. (2021). Proactive Coping in Youth and Old Age as an Indicator of Identity Formation in an Anormative Context. Multidisciplinary Journal of School Education, 10(2 (20), 201-218.