Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education


The purpose of this dissertation was to determine whether uncontrollable and controllable stressors differentially affected levels of subjective well-being in a group of ethnically diverse urban adolescents. Additionally, the researcher examined what types of coping skills were utilized in the face of high levels of uncontrollable stress. Lastly, a moderational model was proposed, wherein active coping was hypothesized to strengthen the inverse relationship between uncontrollable stress and subjective well-being. Results revealed that higher levels of uncontrollable stress were related to higher levels of negative affect. Additionally, the use of active and adaptive coping strategies was associated with higher levels of positive affect and life satisfaction. Adaptive coping was associated with higher levels of maladaptive coping. As expected, maladaptive coping was predictive of lower levels of subjective well-being. Lastly, youth who reported employing higher levels of active coping appeared to have more stable levels of negative affect than youth who reported employing lower levels of active coping. These results highlight the importance of tailoring prevention programs to urban youth, who are often faced with notably high levels of uncontrollable stress and may need support related to applying coping skills in their lives. Additionally, this research sheds light on the importance of addressing the value of resiliency in urban youth populations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.