Purpose in life, appraisal, and coping behaviors in Black, Hispanic, and White Anglo-Saxon pregnant adolescents

Date
1988-08
Authors
Enders, Bertha
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Abstract

The purposes of this descriptive study were: (1) to identify differences in perceptions of life purpose, appraisal, and coping behaviors based on ethnicity; and (2) to describe the interrelationship of these variables, among black, hispanic, and white anglo-saxon pregnant adolescents. Conducted in five health agencies of a large metropolitan area, the study used a nonprobability sample composed of 63 black, 89 hispanic, and 55 white anglo-saxon pregnant women ages 13 to 25. Subjects completed a General Information Form, the Purpose in Life Test, PIL (Crumbaugh & Maholick, 1964), the Cognitive Appraisal questionnaire and the Coping Behaviors Inventory, CBI (Kaus, 1986). Multivariate analysis was used to test the hypotheses. The findings were: (1) There was no statistically significant difference in PIL scores among the pregnant adolescents based on ethnicity. (2) The groups differed on two appraisal dimensions: resolution and desirability. Blacks and hispanics, more than whites, viewed the pregnancy as a difficult situation needing resolution. Hispanics, more than blacks or whites, viewed the pregnancy as desirable. (3) The groups differed on two coping dimensions: emotion and problem-solving behaviors. Black, more than hispanics or whites, used more emotion-focused coping behaviors. Whites tended to use problem-solving coping more than emotion behaviors. (4) A statistically significant relationship was found between the PIL and one or more appraisal variables in the three groups. (5) A statistically significant relationship was found between the PIL and one or more CBI subscale scores in the three groups. (6) A statistically significant relationship was found between one or more appraisal variables and coping subscales for black and white subjects, but not for hispanics. The study supported the implication that sociocultural differences in perception of pregnancy must be considered when assessing the nursing needs of the pregnant adolescent, and in program planning for the prevention of adolescent pregnancy.

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Keywords
Perceptions of life, Pregnancy situations, Coping behaviors, Ethnic groups, Interrelationships, Pregnant adolescents
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