Temperament, coping, and involuntary stress responses in preadolescent children: the moderating role of achievement goal orientation

Alaina Wodzinski, Jason J. Bendezú, Martha E. Wadsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Developmental theorists posit that temperament contributes to preadolescent’s stress response styles. Findings from empirical studies, however, have yielded mixed results, thus indicating a need to consider moderators of this relation. Utilizing an analytic framework guided by resiliency theory [Zimmerman, M. A. (2013). Resiliency theory: A strengths-based approach to research and practice for adolescent health. Health Education & Behavior, 40, 381–383], this study examined achievement goal orientation as a moderator of the relation between temperament and stress response styles. Methods: 96 preadolescent–parent dyads (Mage = 10.30 years, range = 9–12 years) participated in the study. Preadolescents reported on their achievement goal orientation, coping and involuntary stress responses (ISRs) styles and a parent reported on children’s temperament. Results: Multiple regressions revealed that effortful control positively predicted preadolescent’s predominant use of engagement coping and negatively predicted predominance of ISRs, but only for children with a predominant mastery goal orientation. For preadolescents with a predominant performance goal orientation, effortful control negatively predicted the predominant use of engagement coping and positively predicted predominance of ISRs. Negative affectivity and its interaction with goal orientation did not predict coping or ISR styles. Conclusions: Findings suggest that a predominant mastery goal orientation may function as a promotive factor by enhancing the contribution of effortful control to engagement coping styles and buffering against unmanaged reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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