Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Bruce Zahn, EdD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Zachary Simmons, MD


The purpose of this study was to examine social problem-solving characteristics and other factors that contribute to the desire to hasten death among ALS patients. Participants completed six measures including: the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised, two item Hopelessness Scale, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy- Spiritual Well-Being Scale, ALS Specific Quality of Life Instrument-Revised, Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised, and the Schedule of Attitudes Toward Hastened Death. Data gathered was analyzed, using hierarchical multiple regressions, and a Pearson product-moment correlation. Results revealed that the factors of hopelessness, global quality of life, bulbar function, and negative emotion significantly predicted the desire to hasten death among ALS patients. Problem solving characteristics were not found to be related to the desire to hasten death.