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Br J Clin Psychol. 1996 May;35(2):265-77.

Problem-solving style, stress and psychological illness: development of a multifactorial measure.

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Department of Psychology, Nene College, Northampton, UK.


Problem-solving style has emerged in the literature as an important variable in the development and maintenance of affective disorders. Furthermore, the literature would suggest that it is related to other variables such as attributional style, achievement motivation and control in the mediation of the stress process. Research has been hampered and somewhat clouded by lack of clarity regarding the nature of the construct. It would appear to be a multidimensional construct, yet a suitable multifactorial measure is not available. The current paper reports on two studies (N = 408 and N = 611 respectively) which produced a 24-item six-factor measure. The factors were labelled helplessness, problem-solving control, creative problem-solving style, problem-solving confidence, avoidance style and approach style. The studies produced evidence that the utility of problem-solving style as an explanatory variable is enhanced when it is treated as a multidimensional construct. The factors appear to be differentially predictive of different affective states and clinical disorders. The data also support the 24-item measure as a useful, reliable and valid measure of problem-solving style.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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