Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Gina P. Owens

Committee Members

Dawn M. Szymanski, Joseph R. Miles


Much research has examined coping styles and their possible positive or negative relationship with psychological health and well-being in various populations. Many studies have identified coping methods that may be associated with lower levels of specific psychological symptomatology as well as those that may predict an exacerbation of distress. The current study replicated some of these findings in a population of emerging-adult college students. Using Tobin and colleagues (1989) hierarchical model of coping and the Coping Strategies Inventory, we examined the potential links between coping style, gender, and depression. Gender was found to be a weak predictor of depression prevalence and severity. Increased use of disengagement, or avoidant type coping, was a modest predictor of depression, and greater reliance on some of these coping methods was associated with increased depression severity. These findings may be important in developing student programs and services aimed at identifying and ameliorating students’ depression, in the hope of affecting more successful adjustment to college and better overall student health.

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