Academic journal article International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Testing the Uni-Dimensionality of Proactive and Preventive Coping

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Testing the Uni-Dimensionality of Proactive and Preventive Coping

Article excerpt

Within the forward-looking coping strategies that integrate processes of personal quality of life management with those of self-regulatory goal achievement, proactive coping differs from traditional conceptions of coping. Proactive copers see risks, and opportunities in the future, but they do not perceive them as negative threats. Instead, they perceive the stressful experiences with more positive motivation than in the traditional view of coping. Schwarzer and Taubert (2002) define proactive coping as the individuals' efforts to build up general resources to achieve challenging goals and personal growth without sense of potential threat, or assessment of harm.

Preventive coping, is defined as an effort involving resources to reduce the severity of negative outcomes (Reuter & Schwarzer, 2009). In preventive coping, individuals face the risk of a negative event that may or may not occur in the distant future (such as job loss, disaster, or poverty). Since all kinds of stressful situations could become a reality, the individual builds up general resistance resources by accumulating wealth, purchasing insurance, developing social bonds, and fine-tuning life skills. What unites both concepts of proactive coping and preventive coping in the general sense is that they are both future-directed; often referred to as a single concept, called "future-oriented coping" (Gan, Yang, Zhou, & Zhang, 2007).

Both constructs, proactive coping and preventive coping, are broadly researched concepts, especially in Western culture. Besides examining achieved overall level and the differences in population, researchers have analyzed its factor structure. While some studies have confirmed the uni-dimensional nature of the constructs (Gan, Yang, Zhou, & Zhang, 2007; Greenglass, Schwarzer, & Taubert, 1999; Roesch, Aldridge, Huff, Langner, Villodas, & Bradshaw, 2009), others have not (López & Cunha, 2008). The results seem to be inconsistent across measurements and other coping/personality variables used. Despite the fact that the same tool measuring proactive and preventive coping was used, the number and nature of items vary across national versions of the instrument.

These discrepancies may also influence the methodological approaches chosen by the researchers handling analysis, as mentioned by Drummond and Brough (2016). The Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFAs) have been widely performed with proactive and preventive items, followed by Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFAs) with item parceling (Sohl & Moyer, 2009) or, conversely, researchers conducted EFAs using proactive and preventive coping scaled scores rather than items (Moring, Fuhrman, & Zauszniewski, 2011). Testing the assumption of an a priori relationship pattern using CFA without exploratory analysis is also common (Almássy, Pék, & Papp, 2014) as well as usage of the various combinations of the EFA methods to decide how many factors were appropriate to retain for rotation. Likewise, an oblique rotated pattern matrix and orthogonal rotation methods were frequently employed. Similarly, the sample size and differences may account for differences in dimensionality. Recently, the most commonly researched samples consist of university students with a mean age of approximately 20 years (Gan et alii, 2007; Roesh et alii, 2009; Sohl & Moyer, 2009; Vaculíková, 2016), and the average range of a sample size is approximately 200-300 respondents.

Based on the mentioned mixed results of the distinct uni-dimensional structure of the proactive and preventive coping, the hypothesis testing proactive and preventive coping construct validity as measured by the PCI was formulated. To better understand the underlying structural relationships the EFA technique was employed. We hypothesized that proactive coping and preventive coping are both distinct uni-dimensional constructs across data analyzed in this study.

Method

Participants

The study received approval from the Human Resources Ethics Committee and Institutional Review Board of the Univerzita Tomáše Bati ve Zlíně (Czech Republic). …

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