Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Donald Masey, PsyD

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Karen Lindgren, PhD


The present study investigated the effects of different coping styles used by individuals with moderate to severe brain injury on their clinical outcomes. Specifically, using self-report measures, this study evaluated the use of task-oriented, avoidance, and emotion-oriented coping and how these different styles influenced patients’ perceived stress and depression levels. In addition, task-oriented coping style has previously been deemed as a more adaptive way of dealing with life challenges. Hence, through a retrospective examination of archival records, this study also evaluated patients’ adjustment (i.e., observed mood lability and social contact), participation (i.e., observed ability to initiate tasks, interact with others, and manage life responsibilities), and executive functioning (i.e., decision-making and abstract reasoning skills) abilities to determine if individuals with a greater number of intact abilities in these areas were in fact relying more on task-oriented coping. Multiple regression analyses of the data from 32 participants revealed that the use of task-oriented coping was significantly correlated with lower levels of depression and stress. The use of task-oriented coping, however, was not predicted by more intact participation, adjustment, or executive functioning abilities. Last, it was found that adjustment and participation made significant contributions to the prediction of perceived stress.

Included in

Psychology Commons