Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between coping skills and clinical symptoms in the context of a stressful situation. The study gave support to Lazarus' cognitive model of stress. This conceptualization of stress is based on the dynamic relationship between intertwining variables.
The sample consisted of 336 male recruits ranging in age from 17-34 who were beginning basic training on March 11 and 12, 1986. Coping style was measured by the Ways of Coping Checklist Revised and clinical symptoms were measured by the Cornell Medical Index Health Questionnaire. Both questionnaires were given on the second day of training and again eighteen days later.
There was no significant difference (P < .05) in the total number of clinical symptoms reported by naval recruits as measured by the Cornell Medical Index Health Questionnaire between the initial testing and the second testing. However, the marginal mean of clinical symptoms for naval recruits was 15.26 in comparison to the mean of 8.69 for a healthy group of individuals not experiencing a particular stressor. This suggested that naval basic training was a stressful situation.
A significant difference (P < .05) was detected between coping factors on testing one and testing two which supports Lazarus and Folkman's theoretical tenet that coping style can be conceptualized as a "state" rather than a "trait." Finally, a positive correlation accounting for 17% of the variance was found between coping factors on testing one and clinical symptoms on testing two. This significant correlation (P < .05) between coping factors and clinical symptoms supported the relationship conceptualized by Lazarus et al. between mediating processes and immediate effects. While this study supported theoretical tenets of Lazarus' model of stress, the Ways of Coping Checklist Revised was not an adequate predictor of clinical symptoms as measured by the Cornell Medical Index Health Questionnaire given the low variance accounted for by the Ways of Coping Checklist Revised.
Wilson, Justin Morgan, "An Analysis of the Correlation between Coping Factors and Clinical Symptoms" (1986). Dissertations. 2335.