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 H Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Danielle Arigo, PhD


Celiac disease (CD) is a digestive disorder resulting from gluten intolerance that leads to damage of the small intestine. The only current available treatment for CD involves adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. Due to the restrictive nature of this treatment diet, and the increasing prevalence of CD in recent years, much research has been conducted examining factors that impact the quality of life (QOL) of individuals with CD. However, there has been a dearth of literature identifying those factors which can be modified within a treatment setting. Thus, a need for further research in this area was identified. Through an extensive literature review, the variables of social problem solving and hedonic eating were identified as factors which have been shown to impact the QOL of individuals with disease states similar to those of CD, namely diabetes mellitus and treatment seeking individuals with obesity. Due to the similarities between these chronic diseases and CD, the present study aimed to identify the relationship between problemsolving ability, relationship to food and perceived QOL in regard to one’s psychological health and social relationships in individuals with CD, who are attempting a gluten free diet. A cross-sectional observational design was implemented. Potential participants were recruited through online social media. A snowball sampling method was additionally utilized. Participants completed study questionnaires via Survey Monkey. These measures included: the Dietary Compliance Scale, the Celiac Disease Symptom Questionnaire, the Social Problem Solving Inventory-Revised: Short Form, the Power of Food Scale, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF questionnaire, the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, and a Demographic Questionnaire. Findings from this study revealed a relationship between positive and negative problem solving orientation, the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms, and psychological QOL. Moreover, a relationship was identified regarding negative problem solving orientation, gastrointestinal symptoms and QOL related to social relationships. Such findings have potential implications for future treatment and assessment considerations.