Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Rodger K. Bufford


Objective: Most individuals experience a stressful event at some point in their lives. A third to half of those individuals will meet criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during their lifetime. Individuals that do not develop PTSD likely have better coping skills regarding trauma. Targeting specific coping strategies that reduce PTSD symptoms helps mental health professionals and providers create interventions and prevention skills.

Method: Eighty-four participants from a university took an online survey. Demographic information were gathered. Questionnaires were given to determine if the participant had experienced one or more traumatic events. Next, a questionnaire that measured the extent that participants endorsed symptoms of PTSD. Finally, participants completed coping questionnaires looking at different types of coping.

Results: Results found an increase in all coping methods, both positive and negative, when there was an increase in PTSD symptomology. Results also showed higher PTSD symptomology, coping, and higher levels of both positive and negative religious coping for those who provided trauma anecdotes when compared to those who did not. Women endorsed more positive coping, religious coping and positive religious coping than men. About half of the variance in traumatic experiences was accounted for by TLEQ, ACE, and Negative Coping.

Conclusions: Individuals are more likely to engage in all types of coping when experiencing PTSD symptomology. Individuals who provided anecdotal information about trauma tended to show more distress and coping efforts compared to those who do not. Finally, women were more prone to report increased use of coping methods.