Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Phyllis G. Tiffany

Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the types of coping strategies, social supports, and perceived control that traditional versus nontraditional students use when faced with stressors in college. The questionnaire was administered to General Psychology students, General Introductory Sociology students, and nontraditional students in a middle-sized Midwestern state university. The questionnaire included the COPE scales that assesses fifteen types of coping strategies and skills; the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (ISEL) which assesses the perceived availability of four types of social supports; the Tiffany Control Scale (TCS) that assesses one’s experience of control from within oneself, control over oneself, control over one’s environment, and control from one’s environment in eight common life situations; and a Self Report Questionnaire (SRQ) which assesses demographic information and asks the subject to identify and rate on a five point scale the most significant experience she/he had upon entering college. The results of this study suggest that, when faced with stressors in college, nontraditional students perceive themselves as having less available social supports than do traditional students. Regarding the intensity of the stressor experienced by the student, nontraditional students indicated that they perceived stressors as more intense than did traditional students. Nontraditional student identified Time Management, followed by Academic Work as the most stressful issue they perceived in college. Traditional students identified Academic Work as the most stressful issue. Regarding the use of maladaptive coping strategies, this study provided partial support for the hypotheses that traditional students use more maladaptive coping strategies when faced with stressors in college than do nontraditional students. This study failed to evidence a positive correlation between the COPE adaptive subscales and the Tiffany Control Scales composite scores and perceived control for the situation School. This study also failed to evidence a positive correlation between the COPE adaptive subscales and the Tiffany Control Scales composite scores for perceived control for the situation Self.

Rights

Copyright 1991 Judith K. Case

Comments

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