Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Art

First Advisor

Pamela Nickels

Second Advisor

Raphael Becvar

Third Advisor

Marilyn Patterson


Research was conducted to determine if there was a correlation between the ability of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) to cope with their disease and several other variables which could be related to coping skills. More than two-thirds of the 98 subjects in the sample regularly attended MS support groups . The ability to cope was measured by a scale developed by Brooks & Matson (1982). The independent variables were : self-esteem factors, vulnerability to stress, depression, severity of disability, general health factors, length of illness and age. Data was statistically analyzed £or the total sample and separately by female and male. Although several of the variables were statistically significant, the predictive changes from the regression equations were small . There was also a statistical difference between the female and male means. Results of this research indicate several factors which could be responsible for helping MS persons cope with their disease; however, no single factor or factors were clearly superior. The potential difference between females and males indicates more research could be directed in this area.