Coping Assessments

One’s ability to cope with the demands of caregiving can influence caregiver outcomes such as stress/burden (Pearlin et al., 1990).  Research in the area of coping typically focuses on identifying the different strategies that caregivers adopt when faced with the challenges of caregiving (Barush, 1988; Folkman & Lazarus, 1980; Jalowiec, et al., 1984; McCubbin et al., 1996).  Not surprisingly, different coping strategies result in different outcomes.  Understanding how people cope can help inform interventions designed to assist caregivers in their caregiving roles.

Avoidance Scale

  • Measures the degree of caregiver involvement in activities that distract them from the caregiving role.
  • 5 items
  • Braithwaite, V. (1996). Understanding stress in informal caregiving: Is burden a problem of the individual or of society? Research on Aging, 18, 139-174.

Coping Inventory

  • Measures six dimensions: care management, personal and psychological response to caregiving, interpersonal with spouse, interpersonal with others, financial, and personal health-related.  Tool initially uses open-ended responses and then the caregivers rates the effectiveness of the response on a 5-poin scale.
  • 34 items (5-point scale)
  • Barusch, A. (1988). Problems and coping strategies of elderly spouse caregivers. The Gerontologist, 28(677-685).

Coping Strategies Inventory

  • Measures six dimensions: problem-solving, help-seeking, existential growth, minimization of threat through diversional activities, fantasy, and blame.
  • 48 items (4-point scale)
  • Quayhagen, M. P., & Quayhagen, M. (1982). Coping with conflict: Measurement of age-related patterns. Research on Aging, 4, 364-377.

Family Coping Coherence Index

  • Measures sense of coherence as a coping mechanism that caregivers use when managing life changes and stresses.
  • 4-items (5-point scale)
  • McCubbin, H. I., Larsen, A., & Olsen, D. (1996). Family Coping Coherence Index. In H. I. McCubbin, A. I. Thompson & M. A. McCubbin (Eds.), Family assessment resiliency, coping and adaption: Inventories for research and practice (pp. 703-712). Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin.

Inventory of Coping Strategies

  • Measures 4 dimensions: wishfulness, acceptance, intrapsychic, and instrumental.
  • 16 items  (5-point scale)
  • Kiyak, H., Montgomery, R., Borson, S., & Teri, L. (1985). Coping patterns among patients with Alzheimer’s disease and non-demented elderly. Paper presented at the 38th Annual Scientific Meeting of the gerontological Society of America.

Jalowiec Coping Scale

  • Measures differences in levels of burden using 8 coping strategies: confrontive, evasive, optimistic, fatalistic, emotive, palliative, supportant, and self-reliant.
  • 40 items (5-point scale)
  • Jalowiec, A., Murphy, S., & Powers, M. (1984). Psychometric assessment of the Jalowiec coping scale. Nursing Research, 33, 157-161.

Reinterpretation and Acceptance

  • Measures emotion-focused and cognitive reframing strategies.  Is not specifically designed for caregiving.
  • 12 items (4-point scale)
  • Braithwaite, V. (2000). Contextual or general stress outcomes: Making choices through caregiving appraisals. The Gerontologist, 40, 706-717.

Ways of Coping Checklist

  • Measures 5 dimensions: problem-focused coping, wishful thinking, avoidance, seeks social support, and blames self.
  • 42 items (4-point scale)
  • Lazarus, R., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal, and Coping. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.