The College Adjustment Test (CAT)

Author of Tool: 

Pennebaker, J.W

Key references: 

Pennebaker, J.W., Colder, M., & Sharp, L.K. (1990). Accelerating the coping process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 528-537.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A measure of coping in relation to freshmen's college adjustment.

Background: 

Major life events can affect all aspects of one's functioning, including moods, eating habits, physical health, motivation levels, social behaviors, and even views about oneself. What is un-clear is whether individuals can voluntarily alter their approaches to life events and, thereby, reduce their deleterious 
effects. The implications of the personality, stage, and inhibition-confrontation models for accelerating the coping processes in relation to college adjustment in freshmen is what the College Adjustment Test (CAT) measures. The 19-item survey achieves this by tapping the degree to which students have experienced various thoughts and feelings about coming to college during the previous week.

Psychometrics: 

On the basis of two samples of 287 and 260 entering college students, the internal consistency of the scale is acceptable, Cronbach alpha = .79. Two-month test-retest with 196 introductory college students was good, r = .65.

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