Theses Doctoral

Layers of Flexibility and the Prediction of Adaptation to Major Life Stressors

Huang, Sandy H.

Evidence indicates that flexible self-regulation is a key mechanism of adaptation to major life stressors. To date, various domains of flexible regulation and their role in adaptation to a major life stressor, including coping strategies, affective regulation, and cognitive abilities have been conceptualized and studied in isolation. Further, there is limited understanding of the longitudinal impact of dimensions of flexible coping in the context of bereavement.

This dissertation filled several gaps in the literature with three empirical studies. Study 1 clarified the longitudinal impact of divergent sets of coping strategies that underlie flexible coping following the loss of a loved one. Study 2 determined how separate, validated domains of flexibility would empirically cluster together, and tested the cross-sectional impact of the empirically derived latent composites on adaptation following a significant potentially traumatic event (PTE). Study 3 augmented findings from Study 2 by using the empirically derived composites to predict longitudinal adaptation following a PTE, exploring the moderating role of demographic variables, and comparing the predictive utility of the latent composites versus their original features. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Bonanno, George A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 6, 2022