The problem-focused/emotion-focused coping distinction has been widely accepted since Lazarus and Folkman first defined this model in the 1980's. However, some researchers have criticized this distinction; for example, while problem-focused coping involved engaging strategies, emotion-focused coping involved engaging and avoidant strategies. Tobin et al. recognized this inconsistency and suggested that a better way to define coping was through engagement/disengagement. A separate but related development in the coping field involves defining types of religious coping. Researchers have only recently recognized the role of religion as individuals deal with stressful events. For example, with a retrospective methodology, Pargament et al. found religious coping predicted variance in health outcomes above and beyond nonreligious coping. The present study integrates these theories and applies the contemporary definition of coping to determine whether religious coping predicts physical and mental health outcomes beyond engagement/disengagement coping after a standardized final examination stressors. One hundred seventy-four undergraduate students completed an online survey during two time points: as they prepared for final exams, and after they completed final exams. Factor analysis of the Religious Coping Measure (Pargament et al, 2000) indicated that two coping patterns emerged: Positive/Engaged Religious Coping and Negative/Disengaged Religious Coping. Nonreligious Engaged and Disengaged Coping correlated significantly with Distress before and after finals. After controlling for Nonreligious Coping, Negative/Disengaged religious coping predicted Distress before and after finals. Neither Nonreligious nor Religious Coping predicted significant variance in Colds, before or after finals. Longitudinal analyses indicated that coping before finals did not predict health outcomes after finals. Similarities of factor patterns of Nonreligious and Religious Coping are discussed, as well as examining coping and health with the context of the stressor.

LLU Discipline

Experimental Psychology


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Kelly R. Morton

Second Advisor

Kendal C. Boyd

Third Advisor

Jerry W. Lee

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Grief; Bereavement -- Psychological aspects; Psychology and religion; Quality of life; Stress (Psychology)



Page Count

xii; 124

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons