Assessing Coping Strategies: A Theoretically Based Approach

Charles S. Carver, Michael F. Scheier, Kumari Jagdish Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5655 Scopus citations

Abstract

We developed a multidimensional coping inventory to assess the different ways in which people respond to stress. Five scales (of four items each) measure conceptually distinct aspects of problem-focused coping (active coping, planning, suppression of competing activities, restraint coping, seeking of instrumental social support); five scales measure aspects of what might be viewed as emotion-focused coping (seeking of emotional social support, positive reinterpretation, acceptance, denial, turning to religion); and three scales measure coping responses that arguably are less useful (focus on and venting of emotions, behavioral disengagement, mental disengagement). Study 1 reports the development of scale items. Study 2 reports correlations between the various coping scales and several theoretically relevant personality measures in an effort to provide preliminary information about the inventory's convergent and discriminant validity. Study 3 uses the inventory to assess coping responses among a group of undergraduates who were attempting to cope with a specific stressful episode. This study also allowed an initial examination of associations between dispositional and situational coping tendencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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