Multidimensional assessment of coping: a critical evaluation

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1990 May;58(5):844-54. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.58.5.844.


Several existing self-report measures of coping and the relevant research using these instruments are reviewed. Many of these coping measures suffer from a variety of psychometric weaknesses. A self-report instrument, the Multidimensional Coping Inventory (MCI), was constructed that identifies 3 types of coping styles: task-oriented, emotion-oriented, and avoidance-oriented coping. Support for the multidimensional nature of the MCI is presented, along with support for the reliability of the MCI coping scales. Two studies are presented that assessed the validity of the MCI. The 1st study assessed the construct validity of the MCI by comparing it with the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. The 2nd study also assessed the criterion validity of the MCI by comparing it with measures of depression, anxiety, Type A behaviour, neuroticism, and extraversion. Overall, the results suggest that the MCI is a valid and highly reliable multidimensional measure of coping styles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychometrics
  • Social Desirability
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*