Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Shields, Grant

Committee Member/Reader

Makhanova, Anastasia

Committee Member/Second Reader

Forbes, Kristian

Committee Member/Third Reader

Stauss, Kim


In this study, I prospectively examined the associations between different coping styles and stress. Stress can be classified as independent, which is stress that an individual has no control over, or dependent stress, which is stress that occurs because of the individuals’ actions. Coping is how individuals deal with that stress. With the role that coping plays in stress, I expected that it would relate to stress generation. I hypothesized that some forms of coping would prospectively predict the occurrence of less dependent stress but not independent stress. To test this hypothesis, I had college students (N=73) complete negative life events questionnaire (NLEQ) and the cope inventory at two time-points separated by approximately 10 weeks. Consistent with the idea that coping styles are related to stress generation, mental disengagement and behavioral disengagement were each cross-sectionally associated with dependent life stress, but not independent life stress. More importantly, as hypothesized, both active coping and acceptance coping prospectively predicted less dependent stress at the second timepoint, controlling for dependent stress at the first timepoint and coping at the second timepoint. No significant prospective associations were found between any coping styles and independent stress. This shows that specific styles of coping are prospectively linked to less dependent stress over time, which may have important implications for interventions aimed at decreasing the occurrence of stress-related disorders.


Dependent stress, stress generation, coping styles, active coping, acceptance coping, service learning