Dissertation Defense Announcement

College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Brianna Stith

for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

June 20, 2019 at 09:00 AM Psychology Building, Room 232

Advisor: Xu (Lilya) Jiang

Two Protective Mechanisms in the Relation of Stress and Life satisfaction: Testing the Function of Strength-based Parenting and Personal Growth Initiative

ABSTRACT: The current study examined the function of strength-based parenting and personal growth initiative in the relation between university-related stress and life satisfaction in undergraduate students. Two types of models were formulated to test the relations among the main variables, including a multiple moderator and a moderated moderation model. Six types of university-related stressors were measured, and each stressor was the predictor in separate models. Data was collected from 353 undergraduate students (age range 18-23, 73.9% female) at a public university. Multiple moderation analyses found that personal growth initiative significantly moderated the relation between practical stressors and life satisfaction, and the negative effect of practical stressors on life satisfaction decreased as personal growth initiative levels increased. In the remaining models with five other stressors, neither the stressor nor strength-based parenting predicted life satisfaction, and no interaction was significant. However, personal growth initiative emerged to be a significant predictor in four of the five models. The moderated moderation model showed no significant three-way interaction between practical stressors, personal growth initiative, and strength-based parenting. Overall, results demonstrate the saliency of practical stressors to college students and highlights the buffering role of personal growth initiative in protecting emerging adults' life satisfaction from practical stress. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.