Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Bruce Zahn, Ed.D, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Maureen Gibney, Psy.D.


The roles of coping strategies and psychological hardiness as these affect the relationships to depression in older adults were explored in a population of older adult residents who had recently relocated to long-term-care nursing home facilities. Older adults experience many losses and subsequent stressors as a result of normal aging; therefore, the additional stress that accompanies loss of familiar surroundings and support systems and the relocation to new and unfamiliar surroundings can have a significant impact on physical and psychological well being. A total of 91 residents participated in this study. Coping abilities were evaluated in terms of social problem-solving skills (Nezu, 1999), using the Social Problem-Solving Inventory – Revised (D'Zurilla, Nezu, & Maydeu-Olivares, 1996). Psychological hardiness (Kobasa & Maddi, 1977) was evaluated using the Personal Views Survey III-R (Maddi & Khoshaba, 2001). Depression was measured using the Geriatric Depression Scale (Yesavage & Brink, 1983). These variables were examined for the amount of variance that each contributes to depression that may be associated with the stress of relocation. Data were analyzed through correlational and hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Findings suggest that psychological hardiness (PVSII-R) was the best predictor of depression, accounting for 40.3% of the variance, followed by Negative Problem Orientation (SPSI-R); stress added another 03.8% and 04.2%, respectively. Significant correlations were noted between psychological hardiness (PVSIII-R) and Positive Problem Orientation (SPSI-R) (r = .42), and hardiness (PVSIII-R) and Negative Problem Orientation (r = -.43). Evaluating newly admitted residents for coping skills and psychological hardiness and implementation of subsequent psychological interventions to address any deficits could significantly improve depressive symptoms.