Effectiveness of Coping in Adolescence: The Case of Korean Examination Stress

Meery Lee, Reed Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study tested the hypothesis that coping is related to a reduction in psychological distress and physical symptoms, as experienced by adolescents while enduring highly demanding examination stress. Using the university entrance examination stress faced by Korean adolescents, the study examined whether specific coping strategies for exam stress are related to psychological and physical adjustment and whether these strategies moderate the relationship between additional life event stress and adjustment. A sample of 358 Korean students in the 12th grade reported their level of additional life event stress, the coping strategies they were using to cope with exam and non-exam stress, and their levels of depression and physical symptoms. Problem-solving and information-see king coping were found to be related to reduction in depression; however, emotional-discharge coping was related to increase in physical symptoms. Coping with exam stress was found to be related to adjustment and independent of the level of additional life event stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-869
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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