Religious coping among jews: development and initial validation of the JCOPE



Numerous studies have underscored the importance of religious coping in psychological health and illness; however, the majority of research in this area has been conducted with Christian samples and knowledge about other religious groups is lacking. Although recent investigations have developed scales to measure religious coping among Hindus and Muslims, the potential for future research in Jewish populations remains limited as no measures of religious coping have been validated in the general Jewish community. This two-part study reports on the development and validation of the 16-item Jewish Religious Coping Scale (JCOPE). In Study 1, an exploratory factor analysis identified two factors reflecting positive and negative religious coping strategies, and the concurrent validity for the measure was evaluated by examining correlations with indices of Jewish beliefs and practices. In Study 2, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) verified the JCOPE's 2-factor structure, and the scale's incremental validity was evaluated by examining Jewish religious coping as a predictor of psychological distress over and above significant covariates. Results suggest that the JCOPE has good psychometric properties, and that religious coping is a significant predictor of psychological distress among Jews. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 65: 1–14, 2009.