Author(s)

Jessica Henninger

Date Approved

9-2-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dinzeo, Thomas

Subject(s)

Post-traumatic stress disorder;Adaptation, Psychological

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Abstract

The current study examined the predictive value of stressful life experiences and coping strategies on posttraumatic growth and psychopathological symptoms. Using the Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ), the Brief COPE, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), hierarchical linear regression models were used to explore the contribution of specific coping strategies to predict posttraumatic growth and psychopathological symptoms following exposure to a trauma/stressful life event. We hypothesized that coping styles such as planning, humor, and acceptance would predict more adaptive outcomes, whereas coping styles such as venting, substance use, and denial would predict more maladaptive outcomes. Results from a factor analysis indicated that there were three factors in the current sample. Factors 1 and 3 were considered "adaptive" coping styles and analyzed together. In a hierarchal regression, these strategies predicted significantly more posttraumatic growth and less psychopathological symptoms beyond that of gender and trauma/stressful life events. Factor two was considered "maladaptive" and significantly predicted psychopathological symptoms beyond that of gender and trauma/stressful life events. Post-hoc analyses explored the specific predictive value of these coping strategies.

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