Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Dr. Michael Dunn


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products not treated as conventional medicine. The body of literature on stress and stress management among young adults has not addressed the use of CAM modalities for stress management among this population. The theoretical foundation of the study was based upon the transactional model of stress and coping, which describes stress as an interaction between an external stressor and the resources available to eliminate the stressor. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether variables such as exposure to CAM, stress level, dispositional coping style, sociodemographic variables, and social support influence young adults' use of CAM modalities for stress management. This study sought to determine to what extent dispositional coping, exposure to and knowledge of CAM, and sociodemographic variables affect young adults' use of CAM modalities for stress management. This study also sought to answer whether there is a difference in the perceived stress of participants who use CAM modalities and those who do not. A quantitative cross-sectional correlational study was employed, using a survey methodology, to identify whether the factors identified in the study influence young adults' use of CAM modalities. Results showed that knowledge of CAM and dispositional coping style significantly influence the use of CAM modalities; sociodemographic variables do not influence the use of these modalities. Furthermore, the use of CAM modalities was found to have a significant relationship to stress level. The findings of the current study suggest the CAM techniques can be adapted and introduced into college settings so that students can better manage their stress levels