Abstract

Attending college can lead to many benefits including better outcomes in adult life for college graduates. This concept is applicable to all students, including students with intellectual disability who are attending institutions of higher education programs to refine social, academic, employment, and independent living skills. Similar to their typical peers, students with intellectual disability enrolled in postsecondary education programs endure levels of stress that result in the application of coping strategies necessary to navigate various social domains of college life, including romantic relationships, friendships, roommate relationships, and social media interactions. The present study utilizes survey and interview data to examine which coping strategies are used by college students with mild intellectual disability. When faced with stressful situations, almost one-third of study participants chose Planful Problem Solving as their first choice coping strategy in the Romantic domain, and almost half of respondents used it to deal with stressful situations related to Friendships. More than a third of college students with intellectual disability chose Confrontive Coping as their preferred strategy in the Roommate and Social Media domains. Findings are consistent with previous research, which suggests that young adults with intellectual disability use Problem-Focused strategies most frequently when dealing with stressful situations. Implications for research and practice are also presented and discussed.

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