Dissertation Defense: Jocy-Anna Shalome Fa'ai'uotupu Chevalier


Mar. 25, 2024, 12pm to 1pm

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location

Room 318


Jocy-Anna Shalome Fa'ai'uotupu Chevalier, Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Understanding Stress and Cping Among Adults in the United States During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Advisory Committee Members:

  • Melva Thompson-Robinson, Ph.D., Advisory Committee Chair
  • Gabriela Buccini, Ph.D., Advisory Committee Member
  • Sheniz Moonie, Ph.D., Advisory Committee Member
  • Reimund Serafica, Ph.D., Graduate College Representative


  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, individuals in the United States (U.S.) and across the globe have experienced unprecedented levels of stress. The purpose of this study is to understand the stress experienced among adults in the U.S. and which coping processes affect their overall emotional well-being. Guided by Lazarus and Folkman’s (1987) Transactional Model of Stress and Coping (TMSC), this study conducted a secondary data analysis (n=404) of adults across the U.S who completed an online survey examining their experiences with stress and coping. A Pearson correlation was utilized to explore the relationship between stress, resilience, and depressive symptoms. Paired samples t-tests were conducted to understand the impact of cognitive appraisal on the eight types of coping. Participants primarily self-identified as White (40.3%), female (77.6%), with a mean age of 30.61 (13.76%), and Christian (43.1%). Results revealed gender, age and racial differences in how adults cope with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Male adults primarily utilized planful problem-solving (M=5.6, SD=3.5), while female adults primarily employed escape avoidance (M=4.54, SD=3.0). Adults aged 36-55 years old (M=4.3, SD=2.5) as well as 55 and older (M=4.0, SD=3.0) predominantly used planful problem solving compared to younger adults (18-35) who utilized escape avoidance (M=5.0, SD=2.9). Whites (M=4.4, SD=3.0). American Indians/Alaska Natives (M=5.9, SD=3.0), Asians (M=4.3, SD=3.4), Multiracial groups (M=4.6, SD=3.1) predominantly used escape avoidance, while Black/African Americans (M=4.9, SD=2.5) and Pacific Islanders (M=5.4, SD=2.5) primarily used planful problem-solving. A small, positive correlation between COVID-19 stressors and depression symptoms (r=0.251, n=397, p<.001) was found among participants. Primary (stress) and secondary (resilience) appraisal both had a significant impact on confrontive coping, seeking social support, planful problem solving, and positive reappraisal for adults in the U.S. Lastly, COVID-19 had a significant impact on the increase of stress (MI=-1.05, SD=12.70) and depressive symptoms (MI=- 4.11, p<.001) as well as the decrease of resilience (MI=1.15, p<.001). These findings contribute to a better understanding of how adults in the U.S are coping with stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With these results, public health and healthcare professionals can create public health responses and interventions to assist people with reducing and managing their stress during future pandemics and public health crises. 



Admission Information

This event is open to the public.

Contact Information

UNLV - Graduate College
Valarie Burke

External Sponsor

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health