Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Research Project
“Entering college: Coping With a New Life Situation” (2009–2011)
Financed by:
Fordham University

Primary Investigators:
Dr. Daniela S. Jopp (Fordham University)

Project Partner
Urs M. Nater (Zuerich University; consultant)
Project Team at Fordham:  
Jacqueline Horan (study coordination; ADP graduate student)
Andrew Cavanagh (study coordination; ADP graduate student)
Tessa La Rue (undergraduate student)
Deanna Minasi (undergraduate student)
Jenna Tarantino (undergraduate student)
Sellie Makhraz (undergraduate student)

Former Team Members:  
Elizabeth Steinmeyer (undergraduate student)
Adila Chaudhrey (undergraduate student)
Kailip Boonrai (undergraduate student)
Dr. Daniela Jopp
Dr. Daniela S. Jopp
Principal Investigator


Studies that examine the development of life-management and coping strategies in depth would be of high theoretical and empirical value, but are relatively rare. This study explored whether a life transition such as starting college has an impact on how individuals deal with their lives and difficulties encountered. At the same time, the study explores the impact of resources, assuming that the transition to college comes along with substantial resource changes (i.e., gains and losses) and that the remaining resource status is critical to the adaptation success. Following the model of Jopp & Schmitt (2010), the study also takes into account the self-referent beliefs (e.g., control beliefs).


This study investigates whether students increase their repertoire of coping strategies during their first year of college, and whether this is related to reduced stress levels when getting back for their second year. It will further specify the role of resources and beliefs for coping with this life transition.


Participants were assessed with established questionnaires on stress and coping, resources, and beliefs. Objective levels of stress are determined via cortisol and alpha amylase.


Further data collection is under way. .


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