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The Self-Report Coping Measure in an Urban School Sample: Factor Structure and Coping Differences

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There are numerous tools available to assess coping strategies used by children and adolescents. Many of the existing measures are widely used within diverse settings, often outside of the populations within which the measures were developed. Given the varying use of coping strategies among different populations, there is a need to ascertain the validity and reliability of measurement tools used within particular settings. The current study examines the initial psychometrics of the Self-Report Coping Measure (SRCM), originally developed by Causey and Dubow (J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 21(1): 47–59, 1992), and investigates the psychometric properties of the SRCM in a school-based, low-income, minority urban sample within six elementary schools. Students in 3rd through 8th grade (N = 298) completed the SRCM as part of a larger implementation trial. Confirmatory factor analysis was utilized to assess for fit with four previously validated models of coping factor structure. None provided adequate fit. Consequently, we conducted exploratory analyses, which suggested a three-factor solution with 28 items. Evaluation of convergent validity via correlations with subscales on the Teacher Report Form provided initial support for the validity of the scale. We then examined coping strategy use descriptively in this low-income, school-based population. No differences were found by race/ethnicity or gender; however, children in higher grade levels were less likely to use coping strategies across all factors, including both adaptive and maladaptive strategies. Implications and limitations for use of the SRCM in a low-income, minority school-based population are discussed.

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The study was funded by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (R01 HD073430).

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Correspondence to Lauren E. Swift.

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The senior author has received research funding from NICHD. No other authors have conflict of interest.

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Swift, L.E., Orapallo, A., Kanine, R.M. et al. The Self-Report Coping Measure in an Urban School Sample: Factor Structure and Coping Differences. School Mental Health 12, 99–112 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-019-09332-2

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  • Coping
  • Measurement
  • Factor analysis
  • Urban schools