Self-Report, Situation-Specific Coping Questionnaires: What Are They Measuring?

Arthur A. Stone, Melanie A. Greenberg, Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Michelle G. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Self-report, situation-specific assessments of coping, such as the Ways of Coping Scale (WOC), have been used frequently in recent years. Several potential issues in the development and use of these questionnaires have been identified, including the applicability of coping items to different kinds of stressful events, the definition of the period for which Ss report coping efforts, and the meaning of the "extent" response key that is used for reporting coping items. In this study, 91 college students completed the WOC and were then interviewed about their responses; interview questions were focused on the 3 issues stated above. The hypothesized concerns about the WOC were supported. Many of the coping items were not applicable to certain kinds of stressful events. Also, how the coping report period was defined varied across Ss and the way in which the extent response key was interpreted differed across both Ss and WOC items.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-658
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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