This work was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01-MH4376 to the first author and a Senior Research Fellowship from Ontario Mental Health Foundation to the second author. Special thanks to Nili Benazon, James Cranford, Monique Grignac, Barbara Morrongiallo, Flann O'Brien, John Sonnega, and Howard Tennen for comments on earlier versions of this article. This acknowledgment is not meant to imply that these persons agree with the opinions expressed in the article, which are the sole responsibility of the authors.
The Mismeasure of Coping by Checklist
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 64, Issue 4, pages 959–991, December 1996
How to Cite
Coyne, J. C. and Gottlieb, B. H. (1996), The Mismeasure of Coping by Checklist. Journal of Personality, 64: 959–991. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1996.tb00950.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
ABSTRACT Hundreds of studies have now used standardized checklists to assess respondents' self reports of coping with naturally occurring stress. This article presents a critical review of the conceptual and methodological issues involved in the use of these checklists. As they are currently employed, conventional checklists render an incomplete and distorted portrait of coping. Specifically, these checklists are grounded in too narrow a conception of coping; the application and interpretation of checklists in the typical study are not faithful to a transactional model of stress and coping; statistical controls cannot eliminate the effects of key person and situation variables on coping; and no consistent interpretation can be assigned to coping scale scores. Researchers are encouraged to consider a broader range of methods for assessing coping, including semistructured interviews, customized checklists tailored to their specific hypotheses and objectives, daily diaries, and traditional trait measures.