A Replication Study of the Structure of the Adolescent Coping Scale: Multiple Forms and Applications of a Self-Report Inventory in a Counselling and Research Context Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper reports two independent studies designed to investigate the reliability and validity of the Long and the Short Form of the Adolescent Coping Scale (ACS). Since we have found from our research that much of an individual's behaviour is situation-specific there is a Specific Form of the ACS which allows for the measurement of responses to a particular self-nominated (or administrator-nominated) concern. However, it is also clear that an individual's choice of coping strategies is, to a large extent, consistent regardless of the nature of the concern. Thus, there is a General Form of the instrument which addresses how an individual copes with concerns in general. The two sets of data reported, utilising the General and the Specific Form (in a Long and Short format), show the value of utilising separately 18 coping scales when measuring adolescent coping strategies. The reliability, validity and empirical distinctiveness of each scale is demonstrated. Nevertheless, factor analyses reported here show that there is some benefit to be gained from considering three coping styles comprising combinations of between four and seven coping strategies. The use of coping styles is particularly relevant when the Short Form of the ACS has been administered. The justification of the use of the different forms of the scale in both educational and clinical contexts, is discussed. The instrument provides an individual or group coping profile which can be used by respondents to guide them in the self-directed change of the coping repertoire.

publication date

  • September 1996