Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Health

First Committee Member

Melva Thompson-Robinson

Second Committee Member

Carolee Dodge Francis

Third Committee Member

Marta Meana

Fourth Committee Member

Lung-Chang Chien

Number of Pages



The study focuses on how subjective stress and mastery skills impact physical and mental wellbeing among UNLV undergraduate college students. Bovier, Chamot, and Perneger’s (2004) study was repeated within a racially diverse campus setting. The Transactional Model of Stress and Coping provided the foundation of this study with an emphasis on primary and secondary appraisal among racial and ethnic groups. The study utilized the Pearlin Coping Questionnaire, the Short Form-12 (SF-12), the Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument (BEPSI), and Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire to assess subjective stress, mastery skills, and the moderator of social support while comparing the results among groups. A total of 704 UNLV undergraduate students completed the measures. The regression analysis result determined that the primary appraisal process, as measured by scores about perceived stress, negatively impacted the well-being and functional status of UNLV undergraduate students. The regression analysis also determined that the relationship between mastery skills and emotional and physical well-being was positive, which indicated that mastery/self-esteem affects participants’ mental and physical health. Moderation analysis determined that the interaction term of perceived social support and race is not significant in predicting the SF12 score (t = -1.033, p-value = .302). When analyzing race, regression analysis showed that only categories of White (t = 2.131, p-value = .033) and Black (t = 2.073, p-value = .039) significantly predicted the emotional and physical wellbeing scores. Conclusion: Subjective stress was found to negatively impact physical and mental health. Alternatively, skills mastery positively impacted physical and emotional outcomes for students sampled within this undergraduate student population.


Coping; Diversity; Stress; Undergraduates


Public Health

File Format


File Size

1900 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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