Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Lafieniere, K.

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The present research examined factors that contributed to the psychosocial adjustment and quality of life of individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Variables studied included coping strategies, health locus of control, social support, quality of life, and psychosocial adjustment to illness. Forty CFS patients volunteered to participate in this study. Coping strategies were conceptualized in accordance with Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) stress and coping paradigm and were assessed using the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (Folkman & Lazarus, 1988). Social support was conceptualized as a multidimensional construct involving social interaction, instrumental support, and positive and negative subjective support. Social support was assessed using both the Duke Social Support Index (Koenig et al., 1993) and the Social Support in Illness Scale (Ray, 1992). Health locus of control was assessed using the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale-Form C (Wallston et al, 1994). Psychosocial adjustment was assessed using the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale-Self Report (Derogatis, 1978). Quality of life was conceptualised as a subjective construct involving several dimensions and was assessed using the Quality of Life Scale designed by Flannigan (1978). Correlational and multiple regression analyses were conducted with coping strategies, social support, and health locus of control as predictors of measured adjustment to illness, and quality of life. Results indicated that in general, emotion-focussed coping and negative social support were negative predictors of quality of life and psychosocial adjustment to CFS. Problem-focused coping, an internal health locus of control and social support were positive predictors of quality of life and psychosocial adjustment. CFS patients face numerous difficulties in dealing with their illness, requiring flexibility in their use of coping strategies and strong emotional support from the people in their lives. As with other chronic illnesses, patients must learn what aspects of their disease can be personally controlled while maintaining some belief in the influence of luck or fate to avoid feelings of guilt and hopelessness in the face of uncontrollable symptoms.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2000 .C63. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-10, Section: B, page: 4776. Adviser: Kathryn Lafieniere. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2000.

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