Author(s)

Rachael Paulbeck

Date Approved

9-16-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Applied Psychology and Professional Mental Health Counseling

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dinzeo, Thomas

Subject(s)

Schizotypal personality disorder;Quality of life

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Abstract

The present study collected data from 200 undergraduate students (106 male, 94 female) and sought to examine the relationship between levels of stress, cognitive processes related to stress management (Locus of Control- LOC; Sense of Coherence; SOC), and quality of life (QOL) across varying levels of risk for developing schizophrenia. Results indicated that high-risk individuals are significantly more likely to have an external locus of control (F=4.121, p=.018) supporting hypothesis 1. Counter to our second hypothesis, locus of control was not directly associated with QOL. However, LOC was correlated with both stress and level of risk for schizophrenia which (in turn) were both correlated with QOL. Thus, there is some tentative evidence that LOC may be indirectly related to QOL, although future research is needed to verify this possibility. Finally, SOC did not act as a moderator between QOL and LOC (hypothesis 3). Overall, the mixed findings of this study provide some insight into mechanisms behind stress appraisal and their subsequent effects on quality of life. Interventions designed for high-risk populations that target an individual's stress appraisal process (particularly SOC) may aid in increasing an individual's resiliency towards stressors, supporting greater quality of life levels and overall prognosis.

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