Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Martin Amerikaner

Second Advisor

Keith Beard

Third Advisor

Chris LeGrow


Stress and coping represent one of the most studied areas in the field of psychology. There is little agreement regarding the proper conceptualization of coping. Cognitive processesand personality traits have been proposed as important determinants of coping responses. Low correlations have been consistently found between personality traits, appraisal, and coping. Many studies in the stress and coping literature suffer from methodological issues. This study was designed to improve upon typical methodology, determine the relative predictive utility ofpersonality cluster approaches over dimensional approaches, and determine the effect of personality and situation upon appraisal and coping. Participants read hypothetical stressor scenarios. Primary and secondary appraisals were assessed. The Cybernetic Coping Scale (CCS) was used to assess coping responses. The CCS has demonstrated reliability and greater factor stability superior to other coping measures. Participants were drawn from the Marshall University undergraduate population. Clusters of personality traits were less effective predictors of appraisal and coping responses than were domains of personality traits. Situation was superior to personality for the prediction of appraisal responses. Situation was a superior predictor than were personality traits or appraisals for coping responses. There was greater variance across situations than between participants, but stable relationships between personality, appraisal, and coping variables were observed.


Adjustment (Psychology)


Stress management