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A comparison of multi-item Likert and Visual Analogue Scales for the assessment of transactionally defined coping

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Darren FlynnORCiD


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The evaluation and monitoring of interventions that are designed to alleviate psychosocial stress rely largely on subjective assessments of coping as primary outcome measures. The pros and cons of different response formats used to measure coping variables are unexplored; yet arguably, response format is a very important methodological issue for the clinical application and evaluation of psychosocial interventions. This study compared the levels of functional coping and transactional coping patterns assessed with multi-item 7-point Likert Scales (LS) and 65mm Visual Analogue Scales (VAS), within the framework of the Functional Dimensions of Coping (FDC) Scale developed by Ferguson and Cox, 1997. LS yielded significantly higher levels of functional coping for all four subscales, and captured a wider range of transactional coping patterns for the approach, emotion, and avoidance coping functions, than VAS. The authors recommend the use of LS for baseline assessments of transactionally defined coping function within the FDC framework.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Flynn D, van Schaik P, van Wersch A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The European Journal of Psychological Assessment

Year: 2004

Volume: 20

Issue: 1

Pages: 49-58

ISSN (print): 1015-5759

ISSN (electronic): 2151-2426

Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing Corp.


DOI: 10.1027/1015-5759.20.1.49


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