Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Supervisor: Associate Professor Julie Ann Pooley


This study examined the coping style adopted (tolerate, engage and withdraw) and levels of depression, anxiety and stress among those negatively affected by their sibling’s AOD use. In total, 164 participants who were first year psychology students at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup were included in the study. Of these, 78 (47.6%) were male and 86 (52.4%) were female. Through the assistance of a psychology lecturer, participants were recruited during a first year psychology lecture at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup. Participation was voluntary and each participant was provided with an information letter and a copy of the questionnaire. All participants (n = 164) completed demographic questions and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21 [DASS-21] (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), while only those who were negatively affected by their sibling’s AOD use (n = 123) completed the Coping Questionnaire (Orford, Templeton, Velleman & Copello, 2010). Quantitative results confirmed the adoption of three coping strategies (tolerate, engage and withdraw) by siblings’ of AOD users. In addition, the results indicated that the total negative emotional symptom score (depression, anxiety and stress) for those negatively affected by their sibling’s AOD use was significantly higher than those participants who have not been negatively affected by their sibling’s AOD use or where no such use exists, however no other significant relationships were established. While much of the findings were inconsistent with previous research findings, additional research into siblings’ of AOD users may be beneficial to further assess the relationship between gender and coping style adopted, the transition between coping styles and comorbidity of negative emotional symptoms.

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Psychology Commons