The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the relationship of the adolescent experience of parental death to the variables of identity formation, adjustment, and coping. The inclusion of adolescents who had experienced parental divorce and those who had not experienced either loss condition allowed for group comparisons.
Utilizing a sample of community-residing older adults, this pretest-posttest design evaluated the short term (approximately 1 week) impact on everyday functioning of Stress Inoculation (SI) training, a cognitive-behavioral intervention that is essentially a coping skills enhancement program. The targets of training were anxiety and concern about being able to successfully perform everyday living tasks. The training program was contrasted with a no contact (waiting list) control. In an effort to maximize the practical aspects of this study, the assessment battery included the use of two ecologically valid measures of everyday problem solving skills (one self-rated and one interviewer-rated). Also included were a measure of everyday intelligence widely used in gerontological research, two measures of self-efficacy, a geriatric depression scale, a state-trait anxiety scale, and a self-report measure of failures in perception, memory, and motor function. The results suggest that Stress Inoculation training is an effective intervention for improving everyday competence but that personal perceptions of self-efficacy and the emotional states of anxiety and depression mediate treatment effects. In general, only persons with lower levels of self-efficacy and higher levels of anxiety and/or depression saw improvement in their cognitive performance following SI training.