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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Jun;74(6):1670-80.

A comparison of coping assessed by ecological momentary assessment and retrospective recall.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-8790, USA.


Recent research suggests that retrospective coping assessments may not correspond well with day-to-day reports. The authors extended this work by examining the correspondence between short-term (within 48 hr) retrospective coping reports and momentary reports recorded via a palm-top computer close in time to when the stressor occurred. There was relatively poor correspondence between the 2 assessments. Some reports of momentary coping were not reported retrospectively, and some coping reported retrospectively was not reported at the time the stressor occurred. Cognitive coping was more likely to be underreported retrospectively; behavior coping was overreported. Participants were consistent in their discrepancies, but there was no correspondence between discrepancy rates and demographic or personality variables.

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