Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Brooke Smith

Second Advisor

Lucie Romano

Third Advisor

Callum Smith


The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with an increase in social isolation, which is correlated with a decrease in psychological well-being. Previous research has found that the coping strategies individuals use most frequently change with age. Previous research has also outlined the mental health benefits of positive coping strategies across age groups, but the appropriateness of various coping strategies for different age groups during pandemic conditions has not been explored. Using data collected in a 3-week period beginning in April of 2020, the current study explored the moderating effect of age on the relationship between coping strategies and psychological well-being. The World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) Inventory were administered via online survey, and longitudinal data from 278 participants were utilized in analyses. A series of regression analyses indicated statistically significant interactions between age, well-being, and active coping as well as age, well-being, and positive reframing. Younger participants showed greater gains in well-being when using these strategies compared to older participants. Denial, substance use, self-blame, and behavioral disengagement predicted lower psychological wellbeing when controlling for age. Implications of these results and their possible influence on treatment options for different age groups during the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons