Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Interaction of severity of stressor and coping strategy on psychological distress from a psychological flexibility conceptualization
by Bethley, Nadia N., Ph.D., The University of Mississippi, 2015, 130; 3726961
Abstract (Summary)

The majority of Americans report psychological or physical symptoms due to stress (APA, 2007). When stressed, people engage in coping strategies that differentially affect psychological distress. Psychologically flexible coping is associated with more positive outcomes (e.g., Ruiz, 2010; Sturmey, 2009), while psychologically inflexible strategies 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 current study further investigated the relationship between coping strategy and severity of stressor while addressing several limitations of a previous pilot study. Coping strategy items were grouped through a principal components analysis to assist in the assessment of the relationship between coping strategy and severity of stressor as it predicts psychological distress. Four components were extracted with poor to adequate internal consistency. Severity of stress significantly predicted psychological distress. Substance use as a coping strategy significantly predicted psychological distress when controlling for severity of stressor (β = -15.08, t(443) = -7.06, p <.001, pr2 = .121). There were two significant interactions. The effect of severity of stressor on overall psychological distress is conditional on our measure of mindfulness and engagement as a coping strategy (β = -.02, t(442) = -2.18, p = .030, pr2 = .01, Δ R2 = .010). The effects of severity of stressor on overall psychological distress were also found to be conditional on our measure of present focused values as a coping strategy, (β = -.03, t (442) = -2.99, p = .003, pr 2 = .020, ΔR2 = .018).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilson, Kelly G.
Commitee: Allen, Michael T., Kellum, Karen K., Showalter, Marc
School: The University of Mississippi
Department: Psychology, Clinical
School Location: United States -- Mississippi
Source: DAI-B 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Behavioral psychology, Clinical psychology, Personality psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Coping strategy, Psychological distress, Psychological flexibility conceptualization, Severity stressor
Publication Number: 3726961
ISBN: 978-1-339-11844-4
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