According to recent data released by the American College Health Association, 51.5% of college students reported feeling more than average or tremendous stress within the past 12 months (42% and 9.5%, respectively) (ACHA, 2012). People engage in coping strategies when stressed that can affect their perceived psychological distress differently. Strategies associated with psychological flexibility (e.g., acceptance and behavioral activation) are associated with more positive outcomes (e.g., Ruiz, 2010; Sturmey, 2009), while psychologically inflexible strategies (e.g., suppression and avoidance) have been linked to greater psychological distress (e.g., Marcks & Woods, 2005; Hayes et al, 2006). Within the psychological flexibility model, few studies have looked at the interaction between severity of naturally occurring stressors and coping strategy and their influence on psychological distress. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationship between coping strategy and severity of stressor in a college population. Participants (n = 538) were prompted to write a brief description of a recent stressful event then indicate whether or not they used certain coping strategies to deal with this stressor. Results indicate that with respect to most coping strategies, there was not a significant effect on psychological distress. However, some results indicate there may be some significant effects of coping strategy engagement on psychological distress in the predicted direction (e.g., alcohol use: β = 0.18, t(535) = 4.34, p < .001, pr2 = .034).
|Advisor:||WIlson, Kelly G.|
|Commitee:||Allen, Michael T., Kellum, Karen K.|
|School:||The University of Mississippi|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Clinical psychology, Cognitive psychology, Physiological psychology|
|Keywords:||Acceptance and commitment therapy, Coping, Severity of stressor|
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