Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Russell E. Gruber

Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Stowell

Thesis Committee Member

Ronan S. Bernas


The relationship between coping strategies and psychological symptoms has been studied for decades. The purpose of the current study was to examine how coping strategies relate to obsessive-compulsive, social anxiety, and depressive symptoms as well as how these three symptom domains influence chosen coping strategies. Participants were administered the COPE, Dimensional Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (DOCS), Social Phobia Scale (SPS), Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, Revised (CESD-R). Given the symptom comorbidity between these three symptom domains, regression analyses were conducted to control for comorbidity among both symptom domains and coping factors. This study found that increased use of coping strategies categorized under the avoidant coping factor were related to increased reporting of obsessive-compulsive, social anxiety, and depressive symptoms. Use of coping strategies categorized under the self-sufficient factor were found to have an inverse relationship with social anxiety symptoms. Additionally, this study found that while obsessive-compulsive and depressive symptoms are predictors of the avoidant coping factor, obsessive-compulsive and social anxiety symptoms are also predictors of the self-sufficient factor. Clinical implications of this study's findings are twofold. First, assessing the coping strategies with these symptom domains in the same subject pool allows for a comparison of how the coping strategies used by individuals with obsessive-compulsive, social anxiety, and depressive symptoms while controlling for the other two domains. Second, data from this study could potentially be used to develop disorder-specific psychoeducation about coping strategies to better treat those with mental disorders.

Included in

Psychology Commons