Tatum Freeman

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Michael Madson, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



This study evaluated the mediating role of coping styles (problem-solving and avoidance coping) on the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and alcohol outcomes (i.e. hazardous drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences [ARNC]). A national sample of 672 traditional age (i.e. 18-25 years old; M = 22.35, SD = 1.97) college students who reported alcohol consumption in the past month were recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website. Participants were 55.1% male and 60.9% White, and they completed measures of PTSD symptoms, coping styles, hazardous drinking, and ARNC. Problem-solving coping (an adaptive form of coping) mediated the positive relationship between PTSD symptoms and hazardous drinking such that PTSD symptoms were negatively associated with problem-solving coping, which was negatively associated with hazardous drinking. Avoidance coping mediated the positive relationship between PTSD symptoms and ARNC through a positive association between PTSD symptoms and avoidance coping. These novel findings highlight the importance of adaptive coping styles as a protective factor for college students experiencing co-occurring PTSD symptoms and harmful alcohol use.


Honors College Award: Excellence in Research

Included in

Psychology Commons