Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Justin D. McDonald


The present study examined the factors that emerged from the Collectivist Coping Styles (CCS) inventory using an exploratory factor analysis with an adult American Indian sample. The CCS inventory was originally developed using a sample of Taiwanese college students by an American-led research team and published in 2006. The CCS consists of 30 collectivist culture-specific coping items, among other indices (e.g., trauma resolution index). Coping has largely been theorized, and subsequently measured, from a White American individualist perspective. In response, a number of researchers with interests in non-White ways of being have begun broadening this area by examining coping from other cultures’ perspectives. American Indian tribes have largely been conceptualized as collectivistic given the nature of tribal societies (e.g., extended kinship structures) and philosophies (e.g., “We are all related”). As with other non-White populations within the United States, adult American Indian coping styles have mostly been examined and measured through a Western individualistic lens in the literature. Further examining how adult American Indians collectivistically cope with stress may provide a more culturally congruent understanding of how this population copes with stress. A sample of 228 adult American Indians mostly from the Northern Plains were recruited to take the CCS inventory. An exploratory factor analysis of the 30 coping items from the CCS inventory was conducted using SPSS. A stable and reliable, 28-item, five-factor structure emerged, including (a) Acceptance, Reframing, and Striving; (b) Family Support; (c) Avoidance and Detachment; (d) Religion-Spirituality; and (e) Private Emotional Outlets. Out of the 30 items from the original CCS inventory, two items did not load, including: “Accepted trauma as fate,” and “Ate in excess (or not eating).” This study indicated that further investigation into culture-specific ways of coping (e.g., collectivistic coping) are necessary in regard to American Indians in order to capture the full spectrum of coping styles.