Date of Award

Summer 7-26-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Audrey Rabas, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brian Roland, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peggy Dupey, Ph.D.


Across the United States, many administrators on college campuses are attempting to respond to the increased student need for mental health services; however, there is concern about colleges’ ability to meet the demand for mental health services in the long term. Using Folkman and Lazarus’ theory of transactional stress and coping, this quantitative quasi-experimental study attempted to determine if a significant difference in coping existed among participants both taking part and not taking part in a life-coaching program across time and if there was a significant mean difference in coping scores between participants who participated in a life coaching program compared to those who did not. One hundred twenty-one undergraduate Florida college students were randomly assigned to either a quasi-experimental or comparative group. Participants in the quasi-experimental group accessed material from a four-session online life-coaching program and those in the comparative group did not. The Ways of Coping Questionnaire was administered online to both groups at baseline and four weeks after the intervention. Using an independent samples t-test comparing end-of-study subscale means to baseline means, the quasi-experimental group had statistically significant improvement on six of eight subscales whereas the comparative group had statistically significant improvement on five of the eight subscales. Quasi-experimental group participants made more progress than the comparative group on two subscales. Alternative approaches to student mental health that focus on crisis prevention, rather than intervention, may be useful in addressing college student problems.

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