RCOPE-Short Form

The RCOPE – Short Form is a 63-item measure that assesses a range of religious coping methods. It consists of 21 subscales with three items each including potentially helpful and harmful religious expressions. The full form of the measure with 21 subscales of five items each, can be found here.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


Religious Methods of Coping to Find Meaning

Benevolent Religious Reappraisal — redefining the stressor through religion as benevolent and potentially beneficial

  1. Saw my situation as part of God’s plan.
  2. Tried to find a lesson from God in the event.
  3. Tried to see how God might be trying to strengthen me in this situation.

Punishing God Reappraisal — redefining the stressor as a punishment from God for the individual’s sins

  1. Wondered what I did for God to punish me.
  2. Decided that God was punishing me for my sins.
  3. Felt punished by God for my lack of devotion.

Demonic Reappraisal—redefining the stressor as an act of the Devil

  1. Believed the devil was responsible for my situation.
  2. Felt the situation was the work of the devil.
  3. Decided the devil made this happen.

Reappraisal of God’s Powers — redefining God’s power to influence the stressful situation

  1. Questioned the power of God.
  2. Thought that some things are beyond God’s control.
  3. Realized that God cannot answer all of my prayers.

Religious Methods of Coping to Gain Control

Collaborative Religious Coping — seeking control through a partnership with God in problem solving

  1. Tried to put my plans into action together with God.
  2. Worked together with God as partners.
  3. Tried to make sense of the situation with God.

Active Religious Surrender — an active giving up of control to God in coping

  1. Did my best and then turned the situation over to God.
  2. Did what I could and put the rest in God’s hands.
  3. Took control over what I could, and gave the rest up to God.

Passive Religious Deferral — passive waiting for God to control the situation

  1. Didn’t do much, just expected God to solve my problems for me.
  2. Didn’t try much of anything; simply expected God to take control.
  3. Didn’t try to cope: only expected God to take my worries away.

Pleading for Direct Intercession — seeking control indirectly by pleading to God for a miracle or divine intercession

  1. Pleaded with God to make things turn out okay.
  2. Prayed for a miracle.
  3. Bargained with God to make things better.

Self-Directing Religious Coping—seeking control directly through individual initiative rather than help from God

  1. Tried to deal with my feelings without God’s help.
  2. Tried to make sense of the situation without relying on God.
  3. Made decisions about what to do without God’s help.

Religious Methods of Coping to Gain Comfort and Closeness to God

Seeking Spiritual Support — searching for comfort and reassurance through God’s love and care

  1. Sought God’s love and care.
  2. Trusted that God would be by my side.
  3. Looked to God for strength, support, and guidance.

Religious Focus—engaging in religious activities to shift focus from the stressor

  1. Prayed to get my mind off of my problems.
  2. Thought about spiritual matters to stop thinking about my problems.
  3. Focused on religion to stop worrying about my problems.

Religious Purification — searching for spiritual cleansing through religious actions

  1. Confessed my sins.
  2. Asked forgiveness for my sins.
  3. Tried to be less sinful.

Spiritual Connection — experiencing a sense of connectedness with forces that transcend the individual

  1. Looked for a stronger connection with God.
  2. Sought a stronger spiritual connection with other people.
  3. Thought about how my life is part of a larger spiritual force.

Spiritual Discontent — expressing confusion and dissatisfaction with God’s relationship to the individual in the stressful situation

  1. Wondered whether God had abandoned me.
  2. Voiced anger that God didn’t answer my prayers.
  3. Questioned God’s love for me.

Marking Religious Boundaries — clearly demarcating acceptable from unacceptable religious behavior and remaining within religious boundaries

  1. Avoided people who weren’t of my faith.
  2. Stuck to the teachings and practices of my religion.
  3. Ignored advice that was inconsistent with my faith.

Religious Methods of Coping to Gain Intimacy with Others and Closeness to God

Seeking Support from Clergy or Members — searching for comfort and reassurance through the love and care of congregation members and clergy

  1. Looked for spiritual support from clergy.
  2. Asked others to pray for me.
  3. Looked for love and concern from the members of my church.

Religious Helping — attempting to provide spiritual support and comfort to others

  1. Prayed for the well-being of others.
  2. Offered spiritual support to family or friends.
  3. Tried to give spiritual strength to others.

Interpersonal Religious Discontent — expressing confusion and dissatisfaction with the relationship of clergy or members to the individual in the stressful situation

  1. Disagreed with what the church wanted me to do or believe.
  2. Felt dissatisfaction with the clergy.
  3. Wondered whether my church had abandoned me.

Religious Methods of Coping to Achieve a Life Transformation

Seeking Religious Direction— looking to religion for assistance in finding a new direction for living when the old one may no longer be viable

  1. Asked God to help me find a new purpose in life.
  2. Prayed to find a new reason to live.
  3. Prayed to discover my purpose in living.

Religious Conversion — looking to religion for a radical change in life

  1. Tried to find a completely new life through religion.
  2. Looked for a total spiritual reawakening.
  3. Prayed for a complete transformation of my life.

Religious Forgiving—looking to religion for help in shifting from anger, hurt, and fear associated with an offense to peace

  1. Sought help from God in letting go of my anger.
  2. Asked God to help me overcome my bitterness.
  3. Sought God’s help in trying to forgive others.

Response Options:
A 4-point Likert scale ranging from 0 “not at all” to 3 “a great deal.”

Scoring Procedures

The mean score of each of the 21 subscales (ranging from 0-3) is calculated.

Original Citation

Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. M. (2000). The Many Methods of Religious Coping: Development and Initial Validation of the RCOPE. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56(4), 519-543.;2-1

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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