Publication Date

Summer 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Lisa C. Duffin, Ph. D. (Director), Krisstal D. Clayton, Ph.D., and Carl L. Myers, Ph.D.

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The present study examined differences in attentional control, attentional control self-efficacy, and coping as self-regulatory mechanisms among students with varying grade point averages (GPA) who experience posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Subjects included 58 college students from one large comprehensive university in the Mid-South who met the criteria for diagnosis of PTSS based on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Three groups were created based on college GPA and graduation requirements at the university (at-risk for graduation, on-track for graduation, and ontrack for graduating with honors). Participants completed a survey that included demographics and measures of PTSS, attentional control, attentional control self-efficacy, and coping. A one-way between groups ANOVA revealed statistically significant differences in attentional control self-efficacy and avoidant coping between the Honors and At-Risk groups. The current study provides additional information and support that success for students with PTSS may be explained by their confidence in their abilities to control their attention and using less avoidant coping strategies. However, as a group, students with PTSS need strategies for increasing their attentional control, self-efficacy beliefs, and adaptive coping.


Clinical Psychology | Educational Psychology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | School Psychology