Brief COPE

Author of Tool: 

Carver, C. S.

Key references: 

Carver, C. S.  (1997).  You want to measure coping but your protocol’s too long:  Consider the Brief COPE. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4, 92-100.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A brief coping scale

Background: 

The items of the Brief COPE are an abbreviated version of the COPE Inventory. It has been used in research with breast cancer patients, with a community sample recovering from Hurricane Andrew, and with other samples as well. The authors created the shorter item set partly because earlier patient samples became impatient at responding to the full instrument (both because of the length and redundancy of the full instrument and because of the overall time burden of the assessment protocol).  In choosing which items to retain for this version (which has only 2 items per scale), authors were guided by strong loadings from previous factor analyses, and by item clarity and meaningfulness to the patients in a previous study.  In creating the reduced item set, authors also "tuned" some of the scales somewhat (largely because some of the original scales had dual focuses) and omitted scales that had not appeared to be important among breast cancer patients.  In this way the positive reinterpretation and growth scale became positive reframing (no growth); focus on and venting of emotions became venting (focusing was too tied to the experiencing of the emotion, and authors decided it was venting we were really interested in); mental disengagement became self-distraction (with a slight expansion of mentioned means of self-distraction). Authors also added one scale that was not part of the original inventory--a 2-item measure of self-blame--because this response has been important in some earlier work.

Psychometrics: 

For psychometrics see: Carver, C. S.  (1997).  You want to measure coping but your protocol’s too long:  Consider the Brief COPE. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 4, 92-100.

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