Relationship between coping, cognitive dysfunction and depression in multiple sclerosis

Peter A. Arnett, Christopher I. Higginson, William D. Voss, John J. Randolph, Alicia A. Grandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Given its relatively high prevalence, one possible source of stress for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is cognitive dysfunction. The authors' study was guided by a new theoretical model suggesting that cognitive dysfunction in MS may be most likely to lead to depression when patients use high levels of avoidance coping and/or low levels of active coping. To test this model, 55 patients with definite MS were administered a neuropsychological battery and measures of depression and coping. Consistent with predictions, regression analyses showed that coping significantly moderated the relationship between cognitive dysfunction and depression. Specifically, cognitive dysfunction was most likely to be associated with depression when patients used either high levels of avoidance or low levels of active coping. Implications of these data for clinical applications and for our theoretical conceptualization are discussed and limitations of the model explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-355
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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