Peer Stress in preadolescence: Linking physiological and coping responses with social competence

Stephen A. Erath, Kelly M. Tu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined associations between real-time physiological and coping responses in the context of salient peer stress experiences in preadolescence, as well as independent and interactive associations linking physiological and coping responses with social competence. Physiological responses included respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity (RSAR) and skin conductance level reactivity (SCLR) during laboratory-based peer-evaluative stress experiences. Engaged and disengaged coping strategies were assessed with real-time responses to peer-evaluative stress (assessed immediately following peer-evaluative stress experiences in the laboratory) and with questionnaire-based responses to peer victimization. Analyses consistently revealed associations between lower RSAR (lower vagal withdrawal) and lower teacher-reported social competence among preadolescents with disengaged (and low engaged) coping responses to peer-evaluative stress in the laboratory, as well as disengaged coping responses to peer victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-771
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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