Descriptions of coping with commonly occurring events by highly self-regulated boys living in earthquake-affected Christchurch (2015)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. School of Health Sciences
AuthorsGillman, Solfrid Hessellundshow all
Children are often overlooked in the aftermath of a natural disaster, and children’s use of coping strategies plays an important part in their post-disaster adaptation (Vernberg, La Greca, Silverman, & Prinstein, 1996). The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the coping strategies of children with adequate self-regulation skills and minimal behaviour problems, living in Christchurch following the major 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. This aim was achieved through the use of semi-structured interviews with five seven-year-old children, their parents, and their teachers. These interviews were analysed using Directed Content Analysis and results showed that children most often reported using active and adaptive coping strategies, followed by avoidant strategies. Results in the current literature regarding children’s coping suggest that children exposed to natural disasters are able to utilise strategies that involve some personal control over their environment and emotions, through the use of active and adaptive coping strategies. Findings from this study contribute to the current understanding of children’s use of coping strategies when faced with commonly occurring childhood upsets. Further research is required regarding the outcomes associated with the use of effective coping strategies following traumatic events.