Factors that influence coping self-efficacy after trauma

Christina L. Meads, Melanie Dyan Hetzel-Riggin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Past research has demonstrated that coping self-efficacy (CSE), the belief that one is capable of seeking out resources that help to adapt successfully to challenges, plays a role in the coping process. CSE is associated with psychological well-being and mental health outcomes following a traumatic event (Cieslak, Benight, and Lehman, 2008; Regehr et al., 2003; Luszczynska, Benight, and Cieslak, 2009). However, relatively little research has investigated what factors may be related to positive or negative CSE. Since the field understands the positive impact of CSE, research investigating factors associated with positive or negative CSE is imperative. In order to investigate factors related to positive and negative CSE, 97 undergraduate students completed several online assessments measuring CSE, trauma history and previous counseling, perceived effectiveness of coping, coping style, psychological distress, perceived control, trauma attribution, and resiliency. CSE was significantly and positively associated with perceived coping effectiveness, present control, and resiliency; CSE was significantly and negatively associated with duration of previous counseling, greater trauma history, distraction and avoidant coping, behavioral and characterological self-blame, past control, and psychological distress. These variables were entered into a stepwise multiple regression equation predicting CSE. Five variables entered the equation: psychological distress (β = -.37***), resiliency (β = .41***), TLEQ total scores (β = -.20**), perceived coping effectiveness (β = .23**), and past control (β = -.13*), which was significant, R2 = .74, F(5, 73) = 42.40***. Prevention efforts may benefit from targeting variables related to coping effectiveness, past control, and resiliency. Primary and secondary prevention efforts could be developed to teach coping strategies that are usually successful, such as cognitive reappraisal (Gross, 2001), mindfulness (Goldin and Gross, 2010), problem solving and emotional expression (Jaser and White, 2010). Resilience imagery and skills training has been successful at improving mood and performance as well as the ability to handle stress (Arnetz et al., 2009). Interventions for attention-control, inhibitory-control, and affect regulation (Hofman, Friese, and Roefs, 2009) have increased self-regulation ability. Combined, these programs could help to improve CSE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Psychology of Coping
Subtitle of host publicationNew Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781620814642
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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