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The Collective Influence of Family Connectedness, School Connectedness and Coping during Adolescence on Psychological Adjustment in Emerging Adulthood

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posted on 22.11.2021, 09:33 by Mason, Jeremy

Research shows that adolescent connections to the family and school environments both diminish across time and are predictive of psychological adjustment. Coping strategies displayed during adolescence are also thought to play a central role in the development of psychological adjustment outcomes. The present longitudinal study investigated trajectories of family and school connectedness during adolescence, the relationship of these trajectories to adjustment outcomes in emerging adulthood, and whether and how coping strategies might explain the relationships between family and school connectedness during adolescence and psychological adjustment in emerging adulthood. A sample of 946 adolescents were surveyed four times across an eight year period; three time points were during their secondary school years (2006, 2007, and 2008) and the final survey point was five years later (2013). Growth curve models were constructed to examine changes in family and school connectedness from Time 1 to Time 3, and to determine whether these changes predicted Time 4 adjustment outcomes. Mediation path models were also employed to determine whether and how Time 3 maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies functioned as mediators between Time 1 family and school connectedness and Time 4 psychological adjustment outcomes. Results demonstrated that those individuals who were well-connected to their family and school during adolescence were psychologically better adjusted in emerging adulthood. They also showed that levels of both family and school connectedness declined across adolescence for females, but not for males, and that declines in school connectedness were predictive of better psychological adjustment outcomes. Finally, greater family and school connectedness displayed during adolescence predicted reductions in the use of maladaptive coping and increases in the use of adaptive coping, which in turn, predicted increases in psychological adjustment in emerging adulthood. The findings are discussed in terms of their contributions to the literature, their implications for the treatment of adolescent mental health difficulties, and suggestions for future research are made.


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Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Jose, Paul