CAPS Ways of Coping Scale

Author of Tool: 

Centre for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS)

Key references: 

Folkman S, Lazarus RS, Gruen RJ, and DeLongis A (1986). “Appraisal, coping, health status, and psychological symptoms.” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 50(3): 571–579. 

Primary use / Purpose: 

This scale is used to identify the thoughts and actions an individual has used to cope with a specific stressful encounter.

Background: 

The Ways of Coping (Revised) is a 66-item questionnaire containing a wide range of thoughts and acts that people use to deal with the internal and/or external demands of specific stressful encounters. Usually the encounter is described by the subject in an interview or in a brief written description saying who was involved, where it took place and what happened. Sometimes a particular encounter, such as a medical treatment or an academic examination, is selected by the investigator as the focus of the questionnaire. Many investigators have asked if the Ways of Coping can be used to assess coping styles or traits. The measure is not designed for this purpose; it is designed as a process measure. It is possible though to look for consistency (style) across occasions by administering the measure repeatedly and then doing intraindividual analyses. Each administration, however, is focused on coping processes in a particular stressful encounter and not on coping styles or traits. The revised Ways of Coping (Folkman & Lazarus, 1985) differs from the original Ways of Coping Checklist (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980) in several ways. The response format in the original version was Yes/No; on the revised version the subject responds on a 4-point Likert scale (0 = does not apply and/or not used; 3 = used a great deal). Redundant and unclear items were deleted or reworded, and several items, such as prayer, were added. 

Psychometrics: 

See article: Folkman S, Lazarus RS, Gruen RJ, and DeLongis A (1986). “Appraisal, coping, health status, and psychological symptoms.” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 50(3): 571–579. 

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