A validity and reliability study of the coping self-efficacy scale

Br J Health Psychol. 2006 Sep;11(Pt 3):421-37. doi: 10.1348/135910705X53155.


Objectives: Investigate the psychometric characteristics of the coping self-efficacy (CSE) scale, a 26-item measure of one's confidence in performing coping behaviors when faced with life challenges.

Design: Data came from two randomized clinical trials (N1=149, N2=199) evaluating a theory-based Coping Effectiveness Training (CET) intervention in reducing psychological distress and increasing positive mood in persons coping with chronic illness.

Methods: The 348 participants were HIV-seropositive men with depressed mood who have sex with men. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention and comparison conditions and assessed pre- and post-intervention. Outcome variables included the CSE scale, ways of coping, and measures of social support and psychological distress and well-being.

Results: Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) revealed a 13-item reduced form of the CSE scale with three factors: Use problem-focused coping (6 items, alpha=.91), stop unpleasant emotions and thoughts (4 items, alpha=.91), and get support from friends and family (3 items, alpha=.80). Internal consistency and test-retest reliability are strong for all three factors. Concurrent validity analyses showed these factors assess self-efficacy for different types of coping. Predictive validity analyses showed that residualized change scores in using problem- and emotion-focused coping skills were predictive of reduced psychological distress and increased psychological well-being over time.

Conclusions: The CSE scale provides a measure of a person's perceived ability to cope effectively with life challenges, as well as a way to assess changes in CSE over time in intervention research.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Demography
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*