Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lawrence Shelton


Coping plays an important role in human adaptation and well-being. However, surprisingly little is currently known about the normative development of coping. The ‘coping families’ framework, outlined by Skinner and colleagues (2003), provides a promising approach to the study of coping in developmental samples. The current examination tested the coping families approach in emerging adults. A total of 425 individuals (63.5% female), aged 18-31 years (M age 25.04 years), were recruited online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to complete questionnaires on demographic information, personality, childhood adversity, stress, coping behaviors in response to an interpersonal problem, mental health, emerging adult identity, substance use behaviors, and competence. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) examined the structure of coping behaviors. Bivariate correlations were used to examine associations between age and coping behaviors, and regression analyses examined associations between coping behaviors and various adaptive and maladaptive outcomes. EFA results yielded partial support for the coping families approach. Correlations between age and coping were not significant, suggesting that there were no meaningful age shifts in coping in the present sample. Lastly, regression analyses suggested that coping behaviors significantly predicted some adaptive and maladaptive outcomes, after statistically accounting for potential confounding variables, such as personality and childhood adversity. Findings are integrated within existing research and implications for applied work are discussed.



Number of Pages

99 p.

Included in

Psychology Commons