Relations of appraised stress, coping strategies, and negative affect among college students : a structural equation modeling approach Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qr46r340v

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  • College is recognized by many researchers to be an exceptionally stressful period of development. Despite considerable theoretical and empirical attention, many questions still remain regarding the experience of stress among college students. There is a dearth of multivariate investigations in this area and, to date, no clear consensus exists among researchers as to which coping strategies best attenuate negative affect, and whether male and female students cope with stress in different ways. As such, the purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to examine the goodness of fit of a model depicting multivariate relations among self-report measures of appraised stress (Cohen, Kamarch, & Mermelstein, 1983), dispositional coping strategies (Carver, 1997), and negative affect (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1997); and (b) to identify, whether the model relations varied by gender. The model, based on previous research with college students (e.g., Dunkley et al., 2000; Soderstrom et al., 2000), specified that students' appraised stress would predict their negative affect, and that coping would partially account for the relation between these variables. Results derived from a large sample (N=1088) of college students (females, n=562; males, n=526) indicated that the model fit the data well, with no observed gender differences. The model pulled together common observations in the stress literature, and a more comprehensive and parsimonious understanding of college student stress has emerged. Overall, the model is a useful heuristic device (a) to understand, assess, and diagnose college student stress, as well as (b) to identify and target specific areas for intervention to promote well-being among college students.
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