SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.9 issue2Cloaked in the light: Language, consciousness, and the problem of descriptionPhenomenologically researching the lecturer-student teacher relationship: Some challenges encountered author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

On-line version ISSN 1445-7377
Print version ISSN 2079-7222

Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) vol.9 n.2 Grahamstown Oct. 2009


A hermeneutic phenomenological approach to understanding stress-coping as an existential phenomenon lived by healthy adolescents



Renée Guimond-Plourde




Based mainly on research conducted as part of a doctoral thesis (Guimond-Plourde, 2004), this paper introduces an epistemological and methodological framework based on the foundations and characteristics of a qualitative/interpretative approach rooted in hermeneutic phenomenology as conducive to disclosing the meaning that healthy adolescents, aged 15 to 17, attribute to the stress they experience in school and to their coping behaviour. Moving from the empirical to the phenomenal makes it possible to evoke a return to dimensions of meaning which have been set aside or forgotten in the lived experience of stress-coping. By thus bringing stress-coping into focus in a new way, it enables us to glimpse the phenomenon anew, with the prospect of revealing what we haven't yet appreciated. A dual philosophical approach is outlined: a phenomenological perspective apprehends stress-coping as an existential phenomenon, while the hermeneutic focus is on interpreting the links between lived experience and meaning. The kind of knowledge generated by means of this approach offers a new way of understanding that focuses on the unique and personal nature of healthy adolescents' daily life at school and, as such, provides educators with a sensitive account of adolescents' experiences of stress in the school context.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Bolognini, M., Plancherel, B., Nùnez, R., & Bettschart, W. (Eds.). (1994). Préadolescence: Théorie, recherche et clinique [Early adolescence: Theory,         [ Links ] research and clinical practice]. Paris: Édition Sociale Française.

Boutin, G. (1997). L'entretien de recherche qualitative [The interview in qualitative research].         [ Links ] Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Presses de l'Université du Québec.

Bradette, S., Marcotte, D., Fortin, L., Royer, E., & Potvin, P. (1999). Stratégies d'adaptation: Comparaison entre des adolescents qui présentent des difficultés scolaires et d'autres qui n'en présentent pas [Adaptive strategies: Comparison between adolescents who present with scholastic difficulties and others who do not]. Revue Québécoise de Psychologie, 20(3), 61-73.

Byrne, D. G., & Mazanov, J. (2002). Sources of stress in Australian adolescents: Factor structure and stability over time. Stress and Health, 18(4), 185-192.         [ Links ]

Casey, J. (2002). Special Report: What's happening to our kids? Young and stressed-out. WebMd Health. Retrieved October 18, 2002, from        [ Links ]

Chandra, A., & Batada, A. (2006). Exploring stress and coping among urban African American adolescents: The Shifting the Lens study. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(2), A40.         [ Links ]

Charlot, B. (1997). Du rapport au savoir: Éléments pour une théorie [Relation to knowledge: Elements for a theory].         [ Links ] Paris: Éditions La Découverte.

Claudel, P. (1929). L'oiseau noir dans le soleil levant [The black bird in the rising sun].         [ Links ] Paris: Gallimard.

Comité Consultatif Fédéral-Provincial-Territorial sur la Santé de la Population (CCSP). (1999). Pour un avenir en santé: Deuxième rapport sur la santé de la population canadienne [Toward a healthy future: Second report on the health of the Canadian population].         [ Links ] Ottawa, Canada: Ministre des Travaux Publics et Services Gouvernementaux.

Compas, B. E. (1987). Coping with stress during childhood and adolescence. Psychological Bulletin, 101(3), 393-403.         [ Links ]

Dahlberg, H., & Dahlberg, K. (2002, June). To not make definite what is indefinite: A phenomenological analysis of perception and its epistemological consequences in human science research. Paper presented at the 21st International Human Science Research Conference, Victoria, Canada.         [ Links ]

Dahlberg, K., Drew, N., & Nyström, M. (2001). Reflective lifeworld research. Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.         [ Links ]

De Noon, D. J. (2002). Special report: What's happening to our kids? Student stress starts early. The problem: Premature pressure by parents, peers. WebMD Health. Retrieved October 18, 2002, from        [ Links ]

Dombrowski, M. A. S. (1999). Preventing disease with stress management in elementary schools. Journal of School Health, 69(3), 126-127.         [ Links ]

Dumont, M. (2000). Expérience du stress à l'adolescence [Experience of stress in adolescence]. Journal International de Psychologie, 35(5), 194-206.

Dumont, M., & Plancherel, B. (Eds.). (2001). Stress et adaptation chez l'enfant [Stress and adaptation in the child].         [ Links ] Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Presses de l'Université du Québec.

Elkind, D. (2006). The hurried child: Growing up too fast too soon (25th anniversary ed.). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong Books. (Original work published 1981)        [ Links ]

Gadamer, H. G. (1984). Truth and method (G. Barden & J. Cumming, Trans.). New York: Crossroad Publishing Company. (Original work published 1960)        [ Links ]

Garmezy, N., & Rutter, M. (Eds.). (1983). Stress, coping and development in children. New York : McGraw-Hill.         [ Links ]

Goodyer, I. (1994). Les événements existentiels dans l'enfance et l'adolescence [Existential events in childhood and adolescence]. In M. Bolognini, B. Plancherel, R. Nùnez & W. Bettschart (Eds.), Préadolescence: Théorie, recherche et clinique [Early adolescence: Theory, research and clinical practice] (pp. 89-105). Paris: Edition Sociale Française.

Guérin, M.-A. (1998). Dictionnaire des penseurs pédagogiques [Dictionary of pedagogical thought].         [ Links ] Montréal, Canada: Guérin.

Guimond-Plourde, R. (1994). Le stress de l'écolier [The stress of the schoolchild]. The Canadian Nurse/l'Infirmière Canadienne, 90(9), 40-43.

Guimond-Plourde, R. (2004). Le stress-coping chez des jeunes de 15 à 17 ans dans une perspective d'éducation pour la santé         [ Links ] [Stress-coping among young people of 15 to 17 years from the perspective of health education]. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Université du Québec à Montréal in association with Université du Québec à Rimouski.

Gushue, J. (2001). Stress and schoolchildren: Adults may underestimate the effects stress has on young kids. Retrieved February 28, 2002, from        [ Links ]

Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.). New York: Harper & Row. (Original work published 1927)        [ Links ]

Hobfoll, S. E., Schwarzer, R., & Chon, K. K. (1998). Disentangling the stress labyrinth: Interpreting the meaning of the term stress as it is studied in health context. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 11(3), 181-212.         [ Links ]

Institut de la Statistique du Québec (ISQ). (2002). Enquête sociale et de santé auprès des enfants et des adolescents québécois 1999 [Social survey and health among Qué         [ Links ]becan children and adolescents 1999]. Québec: Gouvernement du Québec.

Jonas, H. (1998). Le principe responsabilité: Une éthique pour la civilisation technologique [The principle of responsibility: An ethic for the technological civilization].         [ Links ] Paris: Flammarion.

Jutras, S. (2002). L'influence des relations personne-environnement sur la santé [The influence of the person-environment relationship on health]. In G.-N. Fischer (Ed.), Traité de psychologie de la santé [Treatise on psychology of health] (pp. 491-511). Paris: Dunod.

Lavoie, S. (1994). Mieux vivre en harmonie avec soi et avec les autres [Live better in harmony with self and with others]. Vie Pédagogique, 88(March/April), 7-9.

Lazarus, R. S. (1998). Fifty years of the research and theory of R. S. Lazarus: An analysis of historical and perennial issues. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.         [ Links ]

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.         [ Links ]

Lazarus, R. S., & Launier, R. (1978). Stress-related transactions between person and environment. In L. A. Pervin & M. Lewis (Eds.), Perspectives in interactional psychology (pp. 287-327). New York: Plenum Press.         [ Links ]

Ma, X., & Zhang, Y. (2002). Évaluation nationale de l'effet des expériences scolaires sur les résultats et les comportements liés à la santé chez les jeunes. Rapport technique [National evaluation of the effect of school experiences on outcomes and behaviours related to health among the youth.         [ Links ] Technical report]. Ottawa, Canada: Santé Canada.

Marcel, G. (1952). Metaphysical journal (B. Wall, Trans.). Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery.         [ Links ]

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception (C. Smith, Trans.). London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul. (Original work published 1945)        [ Links ]

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The visible and the invisible (A. Lingis, Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. (Original work published 1964)        [ Links ]

Merleau-Ponty, M. (2001). Psychologie et pédagogie de l'enfant. Cours de Sorbonne 1949-1952 [Psychology and pedadagogy of the child.         [ Links ] Sorbonne lectures 1949-1952]. Paris: Éditions Verdier.

Middlebrooks, J. S., & Audage, N. C. (2008). The effects of childhood stress on health across the lifespan. Atlanta, GA: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control.         [ Links ]

Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS). (1998). Rapport sur la santé dans le monde 1998. La vie au 21e siècle: Une perspective pour tous [World health report 1998.         [ Links ] Life in the 21st century: A vision for all]. Genève, Switzerland: Rapport du Directeur Général.

Plancherel, B. (1998). Le stress des événements existentiels et son impact sur la santé des adolescents: Résultats de recherches et réflexions méthodologiques [Stress of existential events and its impact on adolescent health: Results of research and methodological reflections].         [ Links ] Fribourg, Switzerland: Éditions Universitaires.

Plancherel, B. (2001). Le stress psychologique [Psychological stress]. In M. Dumont & B. Plancherel (Eds.). Stress et adaptation chez l'enfant [Stress and adaptation in the child] (pp. 9-27). Sainte-Foy, Quebec: Presses de l'Université du Québec.

Ricoeur, P. (1974). The conflict of interpretations: Essays in Hermeneutics (D. Ihde, Ed.; K. McLaughlin et al., Trans.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. (Original work in French published 1969)        [ Links ]

Romer, G. (1993, November). Assessing stress in children: A literature review. Paper presented at the 19th Annual Conference of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.         [ Links ]

Rosnet, E. (2002). Définitions, théories et modèles du stress [Definitions, theories and models of stress]. In D. Lassarre (Ed.), Stress et société [Stress and society] (pp. 17-37). Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France: Presses Universitaires de Reims.

Ryan-Wenger, N. A., Sharrer, V. W., & Wynd, C. A. (2000). Stress, coping, and health in children. In V. Hill Rice (Ed.), Handbook of stress, coping and health: Implications for nursing research, theory, and practice (pp. 265-293). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.         [ Links ]

Savoie-Zajc, L. (2000). La recherche qualitative/interprétative en education [Qualitative/interpretative research in education]. In T. Karsenti & L. Savoie-Zajc (Eds.), Introduction à la recherche en éducation [Introduction to research in education] (pp. 171-198). Sherbrooke, Quebec: Éditions du CRP.

Savoie-Zajc, L., & Karsenti, T. (2000). La méthodologie [Methodology]. In T. Karsenti & L. Savoie-Zajc (Eds.), Introduction à la recherche en éducation [Introduction to research in education] (pp. 127-140). Sherbrooke, Quebec: Éditions du CRP.

Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1994). Les modes d'ajustement aux situations stressantes du développement. Comparaison d'adolescents normaux et d'adolescents perturbés [Modes of coping with stressful developmental situations: Comparison of normal adolescents and disturbed adolescents]. l'Orientation Scolaire et Professionnelle, 23(3), 313-327.

Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York: McGraw-Hill        [ Links ]

Selye, H. (1974). Stress without distress. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott.         [ Links ]

Sharrer, V. W., & Ryan-Wenger, N. M. (1991). Measurements of stress and coping among school-aged children with and without recurrent abdominal pain. Journal of School Health, 61(2), 86-91.         [ Links ]

Skinner, E. A., & Wellborn, J. G. (1997). Children's coping in the academic domain. In S. A. Wolchik & I. N. Sandler (Eds.), Handbook of children's coping with common life stressors: Linking theory, research and interventions (pp. 387-422). New York: Plenum Press.         [ Links ]

Stark, L., Spirito, A., Williams, C., & Guèvremont, D. (1989). Common problems and coping strategies 1: Findings with normal adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17(2), 203-212.         [ Links ]

Van Der Maren, J.-M. (1995). Méthodes de recherche pour l'éducation [Research methods for education].         [ Links ] Montréal, Canada: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal.

Van Manen, M. (1984). Practising phenomenological writing. Phenomenology + Pedagogy, 2(1), 36-69.         [ Links ]

Van Manen, M. (1997). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy (2nd ed.). London, Ontario: The Althouse Press. (Original work published 1990)        [ Links ]

Van Manen, M. (Ed.). (2002). Writing in the dark: Phenomenological studies in interpretive inquiry. London, Ontario: The Althouse Press.         [ Links ]

Verstraeten, K., Gossiaux, Y., & Renard, F. (2002). Le stress chez les enfants et les adolescents: Bibliographie commentée [Stress among children and adolescents: Bibliographic commentary]. Éducation Santé, 174(November), 17-18.

Viau, R. (1995). L'état des recherches sur l'anxiété en contexte scolaire [The state of research on anxiety in the school context]. Cahiers de la Recherche en Éducation, 2(2), 375-398.

Witkin, G. (1999). KidStress: What it is, how it feels, how to help. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.         [ Links ]

Wittgenstein, L. (1973). Philosophical investigations (3rd ed.) (G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. (Original work published posthumously 1953)        [ Links ]

Wolchik, S. A., & Sandler, I. N. (Eds.). (1997). Handbook of children's coping with common life stressors: Linking theory, research and interventions. New York: Plenum Press.         [ Links ]

Zielinski, A. (2002). Lecture de Merleau-Ponty et Lévinas: Le corps, le monde, l'autre [Lecture on Merleau-Ponty and Lé         [ Links ]vinas: Body, world, other]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.



Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License