Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Eric Seemann

Committee Member

Aurora Torres

Committee Member

Nate Tenhundfeld


College students--Mental health., Cognitive styles., Affect (Psychology), Toughness (Personality trait), Anxiety., Depression (Mental), Stress (Psychology)


The current study aimed to determine whether cognitive style, positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and mental toughness (MT) were distinct but related constructs as well as to study the nature of the relationships between the three constructs, and their impact on non-clinical symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Participants completed a paper-pencil version of a measure that assessed cognitive style as well as three self-report questionnaires via Qualtrics that assessed positive and negative affect, individual’s MT, and symptoms of non-clinical depression, anxiety, and life stress. Results indicated that MT was positively related to PA and negatively related to NA. NA emerged as a positive predictor of stress, anxiety, and depression, whereas PA was a negative predictor of stress and depression. MT mediated the relationship between PA and stress. MT moderated the relationships between NA and stress, anxiety, and depression, respectively, as well as the relationship between PA and depression. Overall, affectivity and MT were related to non-clinical stress, anxiety, and depression.



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