The relationship between executive function and coping in stroke survivors


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Towson University. Department of Psychology


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Stroke affects many individuals worldwide and the impairments can be devastating. Post-stroke sequelae may include physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments. The ways in which stroke survivors cope with such impairments is of great interest, but has not previously been investigated. Previous research in traumatic brain injury (TBI) indicated that executive function is positively correlated with active coping and negatively correlated with avoidant coping (Krpan et al. 2007, 2011). The present study aimed to assess how executive function correlated with coping strategies in another brain-injured sample, stroke survivors. Fifteen stroke survivors completed a battery of cognitive tests measuring executive function as well as the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WAYS) to assess coping strategies. Results indicated that coping was negatively correlated with avoidant coping and a significant predictor of avoidant coping. No relationship existed between executive function and active coping. Implications for future research are discussed.