Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Russell E. Gruber


This study was designed to explore relationships between measures of resilience, coping strategies, social media usage, and depression. Resilience refers to one's ability to endure and recover from adversity. Many theories about what contributes to the development resilience have been explored without a clear consensus. Taormina (2015) argued that adult personal resilience is comprised of four dimensions - determination, endurance, adapatability, and recuperability. Coping, a construct related to resilience, is the process of regulating emotions, cognition, behavior, physiological responses, and the environment in response to stressful events. Past research indicated those with poorer mental health have the tendency to use maladaptive coping strategies in response to stress and are less resilient. The present study also considered how social media addiction may influence resilience and maladaptive coping. Two-hundred and ten participants were recruited to participate in the study and responded to questions assessing the aforementioned concepts. As predicted, results confirmed that greater resilience was associated with problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies compared to avoidant coping strategies. Furthermore, those who reported higher levels of depression were less resilient and engaged in more avoidant coping strategies, while those who employed more problem-focused coping strategies reported less depression. Results also indicated that those who were addicted to social media were more depressed. With regard to coping strategies and social media addiction, those who used mental disengagement and behavioral disengagement as coping strategies reported more problematic social media use. Possible explanations for the results of this study, including limitations and recommendations for the future, and clinical implications of the results are discussed.