Revisiting the factor structure of the Ways of Coping Checklist: A three-dimensional view of the problem-focused coping scale. A study among Norwegian physicians

Falkum E, Olff M, Aasland OG. Personality and Individual Differences 1997; 22 (2): 257-67.

Article in English.

Abstract (not available on Pubmed): The factor structure of the Ways of Coping Checklist (WCCL) developed by Folkman and Lazarus was re-examined and the emerging factors related to eight different measures of health and stress in a large representative sample of Norwegian physicians (N = 1030). The 42-item Vitaliano revision of the WCCL was applied, and a six-factor solution of the principal component analysis was chosen as the most appropriate one. The traditional comprehensive Problem-focused coping factor was split into three new ones: a narrower, more instrumental Action-oriented factor, an Accommodation factor and a Positive thinking factor. Vitaliano´s Seek support and Self-blame scales were reproduced, while the Wishful thinking and Avoidance scales collapsed to one Defense factor. The health related validity of the new solution was examined in two parallel series of regression analyses. Our new WCCL-dimensions were included as hypothetical predictors of health and stress in one series, and the Vitaliano factors in another. Whereas the comprehensive Problem-focused coping dimension predicted the health and stress measures significantly in six of the equations, the new Action-oriented coping factor was not included in any of them. Accommodation and Positive thinking seem to account for most of the variance covered by the comprehensive Problem-focused coping scale. It is argued that Accommodation and Positive thinking are more productive ways of coping when the source of stress is not likely to be eliminated or substantially weakened by individual action.

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