The COPE is a 52-item measure of 13 sub-scales that capture aspects related to problem focused coping, emotion focused coping, and coping responses that arguably are less useful (focus on and venting of emotions, behavioral disengagement, mental disengagement).


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


Active coping
1.I take additional action to try to get rid of the problem.
2.I concentrate my efforts on doing something about it.
3.I do what has to be done, one step at a time.
4.I take direct action to get around the problem.

5.I try to come up with a strategy about what to do.
6.I make a plan of action.
7.I think hard about what steps to take.
8.I think about how I might best handle the problem.

Suppression of competing activities
9.I put aside other activities in order to concentrate on this.
10.I focus on dealing with this problem, and if necessary let other things slide a little.
11.I keep myself from getting distracted by other thoughts or activities.
12.I try hard to prevent other things from interfering with my efforts at dealing with this.

Restraint coping
13.I force myself to wait for the right time to do something.
14.I hold off doing anything about it until the situation permits.
15.I make sure not to make matters worse by acting too soon.
16.I restrain myself from doing anything too quickly.

Seeking social support for instrumental reasons
17.I ask people who have had similar experiences what they did.
18.I try to get advice from someone about what to do.
19.I talk to someone to find out more about the situation.
20.I talk to someone who could do something concrete about the problem.

Seeking social support for emotional reasons 21.I talk to someone about how I feel.
22.I try to get emotional support from friends or relatives.
23.I discuss my feelings with someone.
24.I get sympathy and understanding from someone.

Positive reinterpretation & growth
25.I look for something good in what is happening.
26.I try to see it in a different light, to make it seem more positive.
27.I learn something from the experience.
28.I try to grow as a person as a result of the experience.

29.I learn to live with it.
30.I accept that this has happened and that it can’t be changed.
31.I get used to the idea that it happened.
32.I accept the reality of the fact that it happened.

Turning to religion
33.I seek God’s help.
34.I put my trust in God.
35.I try to find comfort in my religion.
36.I pray more than usual.

Focus on & venting of emotions
37.I get upset and let my emotions out.
38.I let my feelings out.
39.I feel a lot of emotional distress and I find myself expressing those feelings a lot.
40.I get upset, and am really aware of it.

41.I refuse to believe that it has happened.
42.I pretend that it hasn’t really happened.
43.I act as though it hasn’t even happened.
44.I say to myself “this isn’t real.”

Behavioral disengagement
45.I give up the attempt to get what I want.
46.I just give up trying to reach my goal.
47.I admit to myself that I can’t deal with it, and quit trying.
48.I reduce the amount of effort I’m putting into solving the problem.

Mental disengagement
49.I turn to work or other substitute activities to take my mind off things.
50.I go to movies or watch TV, to think about it less.
51.I daydream about things other than this.
52.I sleep more than usual.

Response Options:
I usually don’t do this at all - 1
I usually do this a little bit - 2
I usually do this a medium amount - 3
I usually do this a lot - 4

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Weintraub, J. K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: a theoretically based approach. Journal of personality and social psychology, 56(2), 267.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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