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Br J Health Psychol. 2006 Sep;11(Pt 3):421-37.

A validity and reliability study of the coping self-efficacy scale.

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  • 1National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2182, USA.



Investigate the psychometric characteristics of the coping self-efficacy (CSE) scale, a 26-item measure of one's confidence in performing coping behaviors when faced with life challenges.


Data came from two randomized clinical trials (N1=149, N2=199) evaluating a theory-based Coping Effectiveness Training (CET) intervention in reducing psychological distress and increasing positive mood in persons coping with chronic illness.


The 348 participants were HIV-seropositive men with depressed mood who have sex with men. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention and comparison conditions and assessed pre- and post-intervention. Outcome variables included the CSE scale, ways of coping, and measures of social support and psychological distress and well-being.


Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) revealed a 13-item reduced form of the CSE scale with three factors: Use problem-focused coping (6 items, alpha=.91), stop unpleasant emotions and thoughts (4 items, alpha=.91), and get support from friends and family (3 items, alpha=.80). Internal consistency and test-retest reliability are strong for all three factors. Concurrent validity analyses showed these factors assess self-efficacy for different types of coping. Predictive validity analyses showed that residualized change scores in using problem- and emotion-focused coping skills were predictive of reduced psychological distress and increased psychological well-being over time.


The CSE scale provides a measure of a person's perceived ability to cope effectively with life challenges, as well as a way to assess changes in CSE over time in intervention research.

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