The researchers analyzed, within an Evangelical Christian university context, bereaved and non-bereaved college students' Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) stories for themes of death, grief, general coping, and religious coping. The study measured: (a) how students in the throes of their grief construct TAT stories, (b) differences in coping between bereaved vs. non-bereaved and women vs. men, and (c) coping for those who specifically mentioned death or grief themes. Results found that students constructed their TAT stones with high frequencies of general coping. Frequencies did not differ by bereavement status or gender, but those mentioning death or grief even more often mentioned coping. Religious coping themes emerged infrequently. Results differ greatly from a prior study at a secular university, suggesting the need to further examine this group. Findings are discussed in light of socio-historical context and recent studies measuring college student religiosity/spirituality. Implications for further research are made.
Walker, A. C., & Balk, D. E. (2013). The stories college students tell: An examination of TAT stories related to grief experiences. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 41, 340-354. url: http://journals.biola.edu/jpt