Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Dr. Gregory L. Brack

Second Advisor

Dr. JoAnna White

Third Advisor

Dr. Catherine Brack

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Matheny


Traumatic events have the capability to alter people’s psychological, biological, and social functioning to a significant degree (van der Kolk & McFarlane, 1996). As a result, there has been a growing need to develop increasingly more sophisticated models to understand the complexities of people’s responses to trauma (Luxenberg & Levin, 2004). Undergraduate students (N = 391) completed surveys designed to measure past trauma, trauma-related symptoms, self-regulation, executive functioning, and coping abilities. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, a modified version of the Early Trauma Inventory Self-Report – Short Form (ETISR-SF; Bremner, Vermetten, & Masure, 2000), the Trauma Symptom Inventory – Alternate Form (TSI-A; Briere, 1995), the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX; Wilson, Alderman, Burgess, Emslie, & Evans, 1996), the Self-Regulation Questionnaire (SRQ; Brown, Miller, & Lawendowski, 1999), and the Coping Resources Inventory for Stress – Short Form (CRIS-SF; Curlette & Matheny, 2008). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was utilized to simultaneously assess the relationships between variables. On average, participants reported experiencing 2.5 non-interpersonal traumatic events and 3.5 interpersonal traumatic events. Results revealed that overall, self-regulation, executive functioning, and tension control were important mediating variables in the relation between experiencing a trauma and resulting symptoms. Implications for clinicians working with individuals who experienced trauma and implications for future research are discussed.