Committee Chair

Shelton, Jill

Committee Member

Warren, Amye; Black, Kristen Jennings, 1991-; Williamson, Cindy


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The demands of college are synonymous with stress for many students, with stress generally being related to academic success and posing a challenge for academic goals and self-care behaviors. Individual difference factors such as resilience and need for cognition may impact this stress experience as well as academic and self-care behaviors. Prior to the current study, self-care had yet to be studied in the same context as academic goal completion. The results of the present research revealed that students were significantly better at completing academic goals versus self-care goals and that self-care goal completion predicted completion of academic goals. Further, I found greater self-care goal completion was associated with lower perceived stress following the goal completion period. These findings have implications related to student wellbeing, as this knowledge of the benefits of setting and completing self-care goals could provide justification for students to prioritize these types of tasks.


I would first acknowledge the UTC SEARCH award for funding this project. I would like to deeply thank Dr. Jill Shelton for being a phenomenal advisor and friend during this time. Your encouragement, guidance, teaching, mentoring are the biggest reasons I have made it to this milestone, and I am so grateful that you helped shaped me to the researcher I have become. Also, I would like to thank Dr. Kristen Black for serving on my committee and always being an upbeat and knowledgeable influence, quick to respond thoroughly to message, eager to help, teach, and support me in all ways. I would like to thank Dr. Amye Warren, my fellow yellow jacket, for being a wonderful instructor and committee member, able to share a plethora of experience and knowledge, plus the gentle reminder to always write in active voice. Additionally, I would like to thank Cindy Williamson for agreeing to take on committee membership even with a full plate of responsibilities, allowing me the chance to get to know another great collaborator, mentor, and role model. I deeply appreciate the many UTC students who helped on this project, as I could not have done it without you, including members of the CALM Lab. A special thanks to my research assistants, Lindsey Nabors, Stephanie George, McKinley Jackson, Sam Culver, Avery Catlett, Abigail Everett, Angela Kruck, Luke Wiley, and Kiara Baker. Thank you to Braden Sanford and John Whittemore for starting the paradigm, and to fellow graduate students Anna Pusser and Morgan Robinson for your help, too. Finally, thank you to my loving family, especially my wonderful husband Doug, my amazing friends, and my incredible support network.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Goal (Psychology); Stress (Psychology)


goal execution; self-care; stress; COVID-19



Document Type

Masters theses




xii, 51 leaves





Date Available


Included in

Psychology Commons