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J Behav Med. 1987 Feb;10(1):1-18.

Raw versus relative scores in the assessment of coping strategies.


Raw scores (frequency of efforts) versus relative scores (percentage of efforts) were compared on the five scales of the revised Ways of Coping Checklist. It was hypothesized that, conditional on the source of and appraisal of a stressor, problem-focused coping should be inversely related and Wishful Thinking should be positively related to depression when relative scores were used but that raw problem-focused scores would be less clearly related to depression in such a way. It was further hypothesized that these relationships would hold for very diverse samples: psychiatric outpatients (n = 145), spouses of patients with Alzheimer's disease (n = 66), and medical students (n = 185). Given the maladaptive status of the psychiatric outpatients, it was hypothesized that they would report more emotion-focused strategies and less problem-focused coping than the nonclinical samples and that these differences would be better observed using relative rather than raw scores. The hypotheses were generally supported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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