Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Greg Dear

Abstract

Research into coping has been hampered by the limited psychometric properties of the available instruments, particularly with respect to the internal validity of multidimensional measures. The purpose of this paper was to review research relevant to the measurement of coping, and to evaluate the COPE based on this literature. The COPE is a widely used multidimensional self-report instrument containing 15 subscales to measure different ways of coping. Claims that the COPE has good factorial validity warrant further examination in light of widespread criticism aimed at coping checklists in general. The present review found mounting evidence that the internal structure of the COPE is unstable and characterised by intrascale redundancy whilst failing to encompass many coping responses. Hence, the COPE was found to be lacking in content validity with major deletion and revision of items required. Confirmatory factor analyses and tests of substantive validity were identified as fruitful directions for future psychometric evaluation of coping instruments.

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