Measuring coping style following acquired brain injury: A modification of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations Using Rasch analysis

Sara Simblett (Lead Author), Fergus Gracey, Howard Ring, Andrew Bateman

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Objective: The importance of coping style factors in the process of emotional adjustment following acquired brain injury (ABI) has been gaining increased attention. To assess ways of coping with distress accurately, clear conceptual definitions and measurement precision is vital. The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of a well-known measure of coping, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS), for people who have experienced an ABI; and to modify the CISS, where necessary, to create a more reliable and valid measurement tool for this clinical group. 
Methods: Psychometric properties were investigated using Rasch analysis of responses from a sample of adults with ABI (n = 207). The internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the scale were examined. 
Results: All originally proposed subscales were not valid or reliable and, as such, were incapable of interval-level measurement within this sample – Task: χ2(32, N = 207) = 105.1, p < .001; Emotion: χ2(32, N = 204) = 121.9, p < .001; Avoidance: χ2(32, N = 207) = 66.7, p < .001. Three valid and reliable subscales were derived measuring emotion-, task-, and avoidance-oriented coping styles by removing items that provided the most unreliable information and exploring fit to the Rasch model. 
Conclusions: The original version of the CISS may not be a valid and reliable measure of coping style following ABI. Modified subscales of the three distinct coping domains have been proposed that would help to improve measurement of coping style following ABI in future research and clinical practice. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date29 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • Brain Injuries
  • coping style
  • Rasch analysis
  • Measurement
  • Acquired brain injury
  • psychometrics

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