Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. Francis (Dan) Richard


The self-regulation theory of illness representations (Leventhal et al., 2003) and the hopelessness theory of depression (Abramson et al., 1989) were used to observe how hopeless illness representations, depression, and coping styles interact. 238 participants with a chronic illness lasting three months or more were observed through the VOICE (Verification of Illness and Coping Experience) survey. Mediation was used to analyze the relationship between hopeless illness representations and depression, with passive coping as the mediator. All regressions in the mediation analysis were significant, and partial mediation was found. Patients with hopeless illness representations were more likely to use passive coping and have depression. Moreover, passive coping correlated with depression and increased the relationship between hopeless illness representations and depression. These findings add evidence to the need for patients being treated for a chronic illness to also be tested and, if required, treated for depression as part of their specialty care.