Dominican University of California
 

Presentation or Panel Title

Childhood Experiences and Coping with Adult Stress

Location

Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-20-2017 6:00 PM

End Date

4-20-2017 7:00 PM

Department

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

Ian Madfes, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

As childhoods vary greatly, individuals will potentially significantly vary in the amount of stress that they needed to be endured during their development and the ways they learned to cope. The present research examines whether stressful childhood experiences influence how adults deal with day-to-day stress.

Suzuki et al (2014) explored stress reactivity in individuals with and without a history of childhood trauma by measuring cortisol, the adrenal hormone that helps the body deal with stress. A history of childhood trauma was found to result in a blunted cortisol response. Glaser, van Os, Portegijis and Myin-Germeys (2006) explored the relationship between childhood trauma and emotional reactivity to daily life stress. They found that adults who had experienced continually react more strongly to small stressors occurring in the natural flow of everyday life.

Reactions to stress are offset by an individual’s methods to cope. Studies show that there is indeed a specific association between methods of coping with childhood stress and current adjustment that is independent of a general association between disengagement methods of coping with almost any stressor. (Coffey, Leitenberg, Henning, Turner, and Bennett, 1996).

It is proposed that after experiencing so much childhood stress, an individual will react more intensely to stress in adulthood, but also have developed greater abilities to handle this, giving the individual a overall feeling of more control over difficult life events. Therefore, it is hypothesized that individuals who experience a stressful childhood are more likely to perceive themselves as having a greater ability to cope with more stress. It is also hypothesized that this perceived greater ability is specific and independent from generally higher self-esteem.

Methodology includes online data collection of demographics and measures of history of childhood traumas and stress, level of feeling in control of stressful situations, and self-esteem. Results will be available in April 2017.

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Apr 20th, 6:00 PM Apr 20th, 7:00 PM

Childhood Experiences and Coping with Adult Stress

Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University of California

As childhoods vary greatly, individuals will potentially significantly vary in the amount of stress that they needed to be endured during their development and the ways they learned to cope. The present research examines whether stressful childhood experiences influence how adults deal with day-to-day stress.

Suzuki et al (2014) explored stress reactivity in individuals with and without a history of childhood trauma by measuring cortisol, the adrenal hormone that helps the body deal with stress. A history of childhood trauma was found to result in a blunted cortisol response. Glaser, van Os, Portegijis and Myin-Germeys (2006) explored the relationship between childhood trauma and emotional reactivity to daily life stress. They found that adults who had experienced continually react more strongly to small stressors occurring in the natural flow of everyday life.

Reactions to stress are offset by an individual’s methods to cope. Studies show that there is indeed a specific association between methods of coping with childhood stress and current adjustment that is independent of a general association between disengagement methods of coping with almost any stressor. (Coffey, Leitenberg, Henning, Turner, and Bennett, 1996).

It is proposed that after experiencing so much childhood stress, an individual will react more intensely to stress in adulthood, but also have developed greater abilities to handle this, giving the individual a overall feeling of more control over difficult life events. Therefore, it is hypothesized that individuals who experience a stressful childhood are more likely to perceive themselves as having a greater ability to cope with more stress. It is also hypothesized that this perceived greater ability is specific and independent from generally higher self-esteem.

Methodology includes online data collection of demographics and measures of history of childhood traumas and stress, level of feeling in control of stressful situations, and self-esteem. Results will be available in April 2017.