Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Psychology

Date of Award

5-2014

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jameson K. Hirsch

Committee Members

Jon R. Webb, Matthew McBee

Abstract

The experience of trauma is prevalent among young adult college students and is often associated with poor mental health outcomes such as symptoms of anxiety. Not all individuals who have experienced trauma, however, develop anxiety, perhaps due to individual-level adaptive characteristics, such as use of adaptive rather than maladaptive coping strategies. Yet, little research has examined the interrelationships between the experience of trauma, specific types of coping strategies, and subclinical anxiety symptoms. A sample of 915 undergraduate students completed self-report measures of trauma, coping strategies, and anxiety symptoms. We hypothesized that traumatic life events would be associated with anxiety symptoms, and that this relation would be moderated by adaptive and maladaptive coping, such that adaptive coping will weaken, whereas maladaptive coping will exacerbate, the trauma-anxiety relationship. Results demonstrated maladaptive coping, but not adaptive coping, was a moderator of the association between the experience of trauma and symptoms of anxiety.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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