Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Development of a Shortened Form of the Coping Responses Inventory-Youth with an Australian Sample

Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Development of a Shortened Form of the Coping Responses Inventory-Youth with an Australian Sample

Article excerpt

The 48-item Coping Responses Inventory-Youth (CRI-Youth; Moos, 1993) measures coping strategies used by adolescents in response to stressful life circumstances. This study tested the underlying structure of the CRI-Youth in an Australian adolescent sample to examine the cross-cultural relevance of the scale. Results of the principal component analysis were also used to develop a shortened version of the CRI-Youth. The data came from 303 children aged between 11 to 16 years. Exploratory principal component analyses revealed that a four component model was the best fit for the data with components labeled as: Cognitive Avoidance and Emotional Expression; Logical Analysis and Problem Solving; Seeking Support and Guidance; Seeking Alternative Rewards. Through an iterative process, the resulting solution included 21 items that corresponded to the breakdown of approach and avoidance factors of the original scale. The total shortened CRI-Youth and four components had sound internal consistencies, which compared favorably to Moos' (1993) subscales and total scale reliability coefficients. Gender differences were evident on the shortened scale, with girls showing higher overall usage of coping responses than boys, and on all components except Seeking Alternative Rewards.

Adolescence has been identified as a challenging time of life, characterized by many rapid and significant physical, cognitive, social and emotional changes (Frydenberg et al., 2004; Herman-Stahl, Seiffge-Krenke, 2000; Stemmler & Petersen, 1995). The number and quality of these changes produce varying amounts of stress that can impact on the health of the adolescent and contribute to emotional and behavioral problems (Seiffge-Krenke, 2000). As the majority of youth proceed through the adolescent years without developing significant emotional problems, it is likely that adaptive coping strategies are developed which protect against negative emotional outcomes such as depression. Herman-Stahl and Petersen (1996) posited that for adolescents, poor coping skills are more closely linked to depressive symptoms than stress.

Two main conceptual approaches have been used to classify coping resources (Moos, 1993). One approach emphasises the focus of coping (problem-focused or emotional-focused) and the other approach emphasizes the method of coping (cognitive or behavioural) (Compas, Maclarne & Fondacaro, 1988; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Moos, 1993; Roth & Cohen, 1986). Coping strategies directed at problem solving incorporate strategies aimed at doing something to change the stressful situation such as seeking information or advice and an appraisal of the situation (Dumont & Provost, 1999; Seiffge-Krenke, 1993). In contrast, emotion-focused coping strategies are strategies aimed at reducing psychological discomfort by avoiding or withdrawing from the noxious stimulus without trying to modify the situation (Dumont & Provost, 1999). Although various systems have been used to classify methods of coping, two distinct modes of dealing with stress are often identified: approach and avoidant strategies (Herman-Stahl et al., 1995; Moos, 1993, Phelps & Jarvis, 1994). These two orientations represent both cognitive and emotional attempts orientated either toward or away from threats (Herman-Stahl et al., 1995). Therefore, approach coping is problem-focused as it covers both cognitive and behavioral efforts made to master or resolve stress (Moos, 1993). Whereas, avoidance coping is emotion-focused, as it covers cognitive and behavioral attempts to avoid thinking about a stressor and its implications, or to try to manage the affect associated with it (Moos, 1993).

The Coping Responses Inventory-Youth (CRI-Youth; Moos, 1993) has a number of strengths. It incorporates both the focus and strategies used, and utilizes multiple subscales to measure and identify the form of coping an adolescent may employ in response to stressful life circumstances. …

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