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An Exploration Into the Coping Strategies of Preschoolers: Implications for Professional Practice

  • Kirsten Chalmers (a1), Erica Frydenberg (a2) and Jan Deans (a3)


This study aims to explore the coping strategies of preschoolers, by asking 4-year-old children (N = 46) at an early learning centre in Melbourne to describe their coping strategies when dealing with seven age-appropriate challenging situations. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. The results indicated that preschoolers could articulate coping strategies that are theoretically clustered into productive and nonproductive coping styles. The capacity to identify a range of coping strategies related to specific situations has implications not only for theory development, but also for the design of effective prevention and intervention programs to help children more effectively deal with life challenges.


Corresponding author

*address for correspondence: Erica Frydenberg, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Carlton VIC 3010, Australia.



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