Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Andrew Newcomb


The purpose of the present study was to complete a multi-dimensional assessment of children's coping. Parents of 78 thirdand fifth-grade children completed a 60-item questionnaire that described children's reactions to everyday difficulties. Children completed a class play, peer nomination assessment. Coefficient alpha and test-retest correlations were evaluated. Children also described their coping strategies to seven common situations. The children's responses were coded (kappa = .82) and combined into a priori clusters. Internal consistency for clusters was not obtained, however, the codes also represented either problem-focused or emotion-focused coping strategies. The Harter's Perceived Competence Scale, Family Adaptability . , and Cohesion Evaluation Scale Ill (FACES Ill), sociometric status and Conners' Parent Form were included as validation measures. Multiple regression analyses of the parent questionnaire and class play revealed global coping strategies. Children's use of problem-focused and emotion focused coping revealed that problem-focused coping is most often used in controllable situations whereas emotion-focused coping is used more often in uncontrollable situations, consistent with previous work with adults (Forsythe & Campas, 1987). The continued development of coping measures will help identify children before they experience coping failures.