Relations between locus of control, coping strategies and emotional well-being in persons with traumatically acquired spinal cord lesion (SCL) were examined. The sample included 132 community-residing adults. Structural equation modelling, including confirmatory factor analysis, was used. A model was hypothesized based on the transactional theory of stress and coping where coping strategies mediated the relation between locus of control and emotional well-being. The model showed acceptable fit to the data and was compared with five alternative models. The alternative models fitted the data less well or were difficult to interpret. In the preferred model, persons indicating internal control reported more coping strategies (Acceptance, Fighting spirit) related to increased well-being, whereas persons indicating external control reported a coping strategy (Social reliance) related to poorer well-being. The findings support the stress and coping framework in medical rehabilitation and illustrate why some persons need coping effectiveness training to enhance emotional adjustment.