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Jenilee‐Sarah Napoleon, Vanessa Weva, David Evans, Reyhane Namdari, Tamarah Francois, Jessica Sherman, Nancy Morisseau, Emmanuel Lafontant, Kristi Atkinson, Sydney Miller, Sean Kidd, Jacob Burack
Using the cognitive appraisal theory of coping and the self‐determination theory of motivation, we examined the shared variance of motivational orientations, attachment relationships, and gender on adaptive and maladaptive coping among youth experiencing homelessness. Several scales including The Global Motivation Scale (assessing motivational orientations; i.e., autonomous and controlled motivation), the Brief Cope (adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies), and the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (self‐perceptions of relationships with mothers, fathers, and peers) were administered to 102 youth aged between 16 and 24 (Mage = 20, SD = 2.07) years recruited from an evening program for youth experiencing homelessness in Montreal, Canada.
Autonomous motivation was positively associated with engagement in effective coping strategies, while controlled motivation was positively linked to maladaptive coping. Moderation analyses were used to examine whether gender and relationships with attachment figures moderated the relationship between motivation and coping. A significant main effect of peer attachment on adaptive coping emerged, in which greater peer attachment was related to more adaptive coping among the youth. No interaction effects resulted.
Although no significant moderating effects were associated with essential relationships and gender, further research implementing a more nuanced approach to assessing the interaction between these constructs may be warranted. Overall, the findings highlight the importance of intervention programs for youth experiencing homelessness, that focus on enhancing autonomous motivation and utilizing peer support to optimize the use of adaptive coping strategies.