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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal
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Volume 3: No. 2, April 2006

ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Exploring Stress and Coping Among Urban African American Adolescents: The Shifting the Lens Study

Source of Stress Approximate Percentage of Teens
Experience Stress Sometimes or Often Worry About Stress Sometimes or Often
School work 68 75
Parents 57 68
Friends' problems 52 64
Boy-girl relationships 48 64
Drugs in neighborhood 48 60
Nosy neighbors 40 57
Pressure to fight 40 37
Teacher respect 40 48
Younger siblings 40 63
Litter in neighborhood 37 48
Pressure from within to have sex 32 20
Opposite sex issues 32 43
Pressure from friends to have sex 32 23
School 31 16
Older siblings 28 28
Body changes 26 48

Figure 1. Percentage of teens who reported experiencing or worrying about different sources of stress, Shifting the Lens study.

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Type of Coping Strategy Percentage of Teens
Males Females
Active 33.3 44.4
Support seeking 17.2 22.2
Distraction 25.3 13.5
Avoidance 24.3 19.9

Figure 3. Percentage of teens reporting use of coping strategies, by sex, Shifting the Lens study.

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