Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Matt E. Jaremko

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick J. Kozub

Third Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick


This study was an attempt to replicate and extend a pilot study which tested the efficacy of three cognitive coping strategies on the tolerance of human infant crying (Jaremka & Walker, 1978). Thirty-five male and female psychology students were divided into five groups: no-treatment control, attention placebo control, reversal of affect, distraction, and rationalization. In a pretest subjects listened to a ten minute tape of a crying infant and indicated when they first experienced an unpleasant feeling. The posttest was the same as the pretest, except the treatment groups were instructed to use a cognitive strategy to help them cope with the crying. Dependent measures consisted of self report of discomfort and anxiety, length of tolerance, and heart rate. Results indicated an increase of tolerance across trials. Although treatment groups showed greater improvement than control groups across trials in discomfort and tolerance, the variability of these measures prevented the ruling out of chance effects.