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Title page for ETD etd-07162013-154547

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Spitzer, Elizabeth Grace
Author's Email Address elizabeth.g.spitzer@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07162013-154547
Title Sticking it out: Accommodative and Problem-Focused Coping in Adjustment to College
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Leslie Kirby Committee Member
Steven Hollon Committee Member
  • coping
  • college
  • stress
Date of Defense 2013-07-16
Availability unrestricted
There are two main type of coping: accommodative coping and problem-focused coping. Accommodative coping occurs when a person changes their beliefs, values, and goals to become more congruent with a stressful situation. Problem-focused coping occurs when an individual works to change the demands of the situation. This study aims to determine how trait and situational levels of coping relate to first-year chemistry students' ability to manage the pre-med tract. Students responded to multiple surveys over the course of the first semester that assessed expected and received grades for each exam, anxiety, coping style, appraisal style, and perceived stress, among other measures. For each exam, there was a large gap between students' desired and achieved exam scores. Students used problem-focused coping more before the exam and accommodative coping more upon receiving their grades. Students who had greater trait levels problem-focused and accommodative coping reported fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms. Students with greater levels of accommodative coping reported less stress.
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