All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sylvie Mrug

Advisory Committee Members

Burel Goodin

Daniel Grossoehme

Kevin Leon

Jessica Mirman

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Cystic fibrosis (CF) – a genetic, progressive disease affecting approximately 30,000 individuals in the United States – has been linked with psychological maladjustment and clinical difficulties among both affected individuals and their caregivers, specifically as the disease progresses and becomes more difficult to treat. Religious/spiritual and secular coping strategies, however, can offset many of the detrimental effects. Yet despite the salient effects that coping can have, aspects of coping among individuals with CF and their caregivers are still largely understudied and poorly understood. In general, less is known about religious/spiritual coping specifically including how it changes across the lifespan, how it differs by populations (e.g., individual with chronic illness versus caregivers) and, importantly, how it is measured among these populations (Study 1). In addition, there is a need to understand the links between both religious/spiritual and secular coping among youth with CF and their caregivers (Study 2). Lastly, both religious/spiritual and secular coping styles relate to physical health behaviors and outcomes. Despite this knowledge, few studies have investigated these links over time to understand the reciprocal relations between health indicators and coping styles (Study 3). Therefore, the present studies aimed to address these gaps in the literature, providing a comprehensive view of coping with CF. In general, findings elucidated our understanding of coping with CF and identified important targets for intervention.