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Psychometric properties of the Turkish version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations/Stresli Durumlarla Basa Cikma Envanteri'nin Turkce formunun psikometrik ozellikleri.


Coping is defined as "constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts people make to manage external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person" (1). Coping is a multidimensional process in which environmental conditions and personal dispositions are substantial in managing emotional and behavioural reactions to stress generating situations. The associations of coping styles with physical and mental well-being have been a major research interest over the past three decades (2).

Many of the researchers dealing with psychological mechanisms underlying coping process have focused on the development of objective coping measures that assess basic coping dimensions (3). The Ways of Coping Check List (4), Ways of Coping Questionnaire (5), COPE inventory (6), Coping Responses Inventory (7), and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) (8,9) are some of the well-known examples for psychometric studies in this area. Both rational and empirical approaches have been used in the development processes of these scales. Both approaches have some strengths and weaknesses: the measures developed by using mostly an empirical strategy may have limited utility and relevance; on the other hand, the measures developed by using primarily a rational approach may have substantial psychometric weaknesses. Psychometric studies pertaining to coping strategies have produced many instruments, but a few of these measures have psychometrically sound properties. Coping scales have one or more flaws such as lack of empirical validation, unstable factor structure, items with too low or invalid item discrimination indexes, low inner consistency of the subscales, and non-existent or inadequate test-retest validity (10,11).

Endler and Parker (8,9,12) proposed a more trait and interindividual model for measuring generic coping characteristics. They developed a questionnaire to avoid possible inadequacies of the coping measures and to provide a more accurate data in coping research. For this purpose, they balanced the rational and empirical approaches in the development of the coping instrument. One of the tools most utilized by coping researchers is the CISS, which includes different coping strategies that people may use in stressful situations. In the first step, a 70 item instrument, the Multidimensional Coping Inventory, was developed based on factor analyses to represent the various aspects of coping by addressing theoretical considerations pertaining to individual coping strategies (13). The scale was further revised to a 48-item instrument and renamed as the CISS (8,12).

Folkman and Lazarus (4,14) proposed a model using coping strategies in stressful situations with two major functions: regulating emotions (emotion-focused coping) and striving to solve the problem by direct confrontation (problem-focused coping). In the further analyses, there has been a consensus on that various coping strategies may be clustered in three generic dimensions: active coping, emotional coping and avoidance (15,16,17). The CISS subscales represent these three generic coping strategies, in accordance with the theoretical considerations, encompassing contemporary findings obtained in the coping research. The generic coping strategies measured by subscales of the CISS are as follows: task-oriented, emotional oriented, and avoidance oriented (8,12). Avoidance oriented subscale has also two domains obtained with a separate factor analysis, namely a 5-item Social Diversion scale and an 8-item Distraction scale. In the explanatory factor analyses conducted in the initial validation studies, 3rd, 23rd and 32nd items were excluded that factor loadings of these items were low or complex which did not clearly load on a certain component (12,18). Several studies concerning psychometric properties of the CISS in non clinical and clinical samples have reported that three-factor structure of the instrument has been found invariant across different samples. The scale has good internal consistency and excellent test-retest reliability. These studies also provided support for the criterion validity of the scale in different samples characterized by their gender, profession, age, and clinical situation (8,12,18,19,20). In the adaptation study of the Icelandic version of the CISS, three- and four-factor structures of the scale were validated by using multi-sample confirmatory factor analyses (21). However, controversial results were also reported. In a confirmatory factor analysis performed by Cook and Heppner (22) to assess the validity of three- and four factor structures among undergraduates, results provided weak support for the validity of both models, but the four-factor model revealed a better fit to the data.

The aim of this study was to explore the psychometric properties of the Turkish version of the CISS. In the current investigation, a large sample of undergraduates completed the CISS and other psychological instruments. The validity of the three and four-factor structures of the instrument was tested in a non clinical Turkish sample. In the further analysis, we examined reliability and construct validity of the Turkish version of the instrument.



The sample consisted of 729 undergraduates registered at Ankara University in the meantime. 32.51% of the subjects were males (n=237) and 67.49% were females (n=492). The average age of the respondenrs was 20.11 (SD [+ or -] 2.55) years. A great proportion of the participants reported having middling economic status (80.80%), 62 (8.50%) reported economical

strain, and 78 subjects (10.70%) were from wealth families.


A demographical questionnaire prepared by the authors for this study, the CISS, COPE inventory, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale were administered to the participants.

The Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS)

The CISS developed by Endler and Parker (9) is a 48-item self report measure to assess how much individuals engage in various coping activities during a stressful situation. The items of the CISS are rated on a 5-point Likert type scale from 1(Not at all) to 5 (Very much). The measure has three 16-item subscales assessing task oriented coping, emotional coping and avoidant coping. Internal consistency estimates were higher than 0.80 for the subscales of the instrument (9).

The COPE inventory

The COPE inventory developed by Carver CS et al. (6) is comprised of 15 four-item scales that assess a variety of coping strategies. The Turkish version of the measure revealed good validity and reliability in Turkish sample (23).

The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS)

The PANAS was developed by Watson, Clark, & Tellegen (24) to assess positive and negative affect with 20 items rated on a 5-point scale. The PANAS has two sections: one is comprised of 10 items to measure positive affect (PA) and the other is comprised of 10 items to measure negative affect (NA). The Turkish version of the scale was adapted by Gencoz (25). The Turkish version of the measure supported the original factor structure and had an internal consistency of [alpha]=0.83 for PA and [alpha]=0.86 for NA. The test-retest reliabilities of the scale were 0.40 and 0.54, respectively. Criterion validity of the scale was satisfactory in Turkish sample, as well.

The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)

The SWLS is a measure of life satisfaction developed by Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin (26). The psychological construct gauged by the measure is one factor represents the more general pattern of subjective well-being. The measure was adapted into Turkish by Durak, Senol-Durak, and Gencoz (27) in a sample consisted of university students, adults and elderly adults. The Turkish version of the SWLS revealed good validity and reliability.


The CISS translated into Turkish by five scholars fluent in English. After completing the translation process, translated forms were compiled together and controlled for the possible inconsistencies in the Turkish translations of the items. The final form of the Turkish version of the CISS was decided by consensus of the translators. The research was announced in Faculty of Pharmacology and Faculty of Educational Science at Ankara University. The volunteers were informed about the study and then the questionnaires were administered by the authors in classrooms. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants before the applications.

Statistical Analysis

Data were tested by using structural equation modelling, in turn, for the validity of the two-factor, three-factor, and four-factor structures of the Turkish version of the CISS. Goodness of fit statistics with the Satorra-Bentler normality correction was used to evaluate the validity of the models. The likelihood-ratio chi-square test was performed to assess the best fitted model within the two-, three-, and four-factor structures. After then descriptive item statistics were computed. Cronbach's alpha coefficients and 15-day test-retest correlations were performed to assess the reliability of the measure. Convergent validity of the scale was evaluated by computing Pearson's correlation coefficients between the CISS subscales and other psychological constructs. The statistical significance threshold was held at p<0.05.


To explore the factor structure of the CISS, three confirmatory factor analyses with the Satorra-Bentler normality correction were computed. Factorial validity of the two-, three-, and four factor structures were examined with goodness of fitness index for the models. The two-factor solution of confirmatory factor analysis indicated that estimated model matrix did not fit to the current data. However, three-factor original construct of the CISS excellently fitted to the observed data (28). The model had a [chi square] of 4195.88 (df=1077; p<.01), a root mean square of expected approximation value (RMSEA) of 0.06, a standardized mean square of residuals value (SMSR) of 0.08, a compared fit index (CFI) of 0.91, and a incremental fit index (IFI) of 0.91. Endler and Parker (12,18) proposed a distinction based on a separate principal components analysis on the avoidance-oriented subscale that this dimension of the CISS may be assessed under two components, namely social diversion and distraction. We estimated a four-factor model for the CISS subscales, after excluding these three items. The model had a [chi square] of 4195.88 (df=939; p<.01), a root mean square of expected approximation value (RMSEA) of 0.06, a standardized mean square of residuals value (SMSR) of 0.08, a compared fit index (CFI) of 0.92, and a incremental fit index (IFI) of 0.92. Model comparison using the likelihood-ratio test indicated that three-factor structure satisfied at fitting to the data compared to the two-factor structure ([DELTA][chi square] (2)=4893.05; p<0.01). However, four-factor model revealed a better fit to the current data than the three-factor model estimation ([DELTA][chi square] (138)=914.05; p<0.01).

For the three-factor model, inter-correlations between the subscales were low and the correlation between emotion oriented and avoidance-oriented subscales was not significant. Almost parallel results obtained for the four-factor model; however, correlation coefficient between two components of avoidance oriented subscale was extremely high (r=0.67; p<0.01).

Given the preceding theoretical considerations pertaining to the psychometric properties of the CISS and theoretical considerations of coping research, our base model is three-factor structure in spite of the fact that four-factor model revealed a better fit to the data. Descriptive item statistics based on the three factors are presented in Table 3.

Three-factor confirmatory factorial model estimates accounted for 31% of the total variance. When summed factor variances were proportioned to the estimated model variance, it was found that task-oriented factor accounted for 40%, emotion oriented factor accounted for 33%, and avoidance oriented factor accounted for 27% of variance explained by the model.

Inner consistency and temporal stability of the subscales are presented in table 3. Cronbach's alpha coefficients have shown that inner reliability of the Turkish version of the CISS was exceptionally good. Additionally, temporal stability of the CISS subscales was adequately high.

Pearson's correlations of the CISS subscales with the PANAS, SWLS, and COPE scores are presented in Table 5.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Turkish translation of the CISS in a non-clinical sample of college students. The priority of our study was to examine the validity of the original factor structure in a Turkish sample. Model estimates were computed for two-, three-, and four-factor structures to compare the models. Factorial invariance of the three subscales of the measure and of the two scales of avoidance-oriented coping such as social diversion and distraction were tested in Turkish sample. In addition to factor analytic study of the measure, we scrutinized for temporal stability and inner consistency of the instrument in order to assess the reliability of the CISS. Convergent validity of the scale was illuminated by computing correlations between the psychological variables and the CISS subscales.

For the construct validity of the scale, we utilized structural equation modelling algorithm to evaluate goodness of fit of the models to the current data, in turn, for the two-, three-, and four factor structures of the CISS. In the two-factor confirmatory analysis, 16 items were clustered in task-oriented coping as in the original validation study and the remaining items were clustered in a factor of non-task-oriented coping consisting of emotion-oriented and avoidance-oriented coping items (19). Then, in the second analysis, validity of the original three-factor structure was examined for the current data. Endler and Parker (12,18) proposed two additional components, namely social diversion and distraction, based on a separate explanatory factor analysis in order to unpack the meaning of avoidance oriented coping. In this study, we examined these additional two components of the avoidance-oriented subscale after entering along with the other two subscales of the CISS to the confirmatory factor analysis in which the model was estimated for a four-factor structure. There have been limited studies concerning factorial structure of the CISS by using confirmatory factor analysis. Cook and Heppner (22) in a preliminary study found weak evidence for the validity of both three- and four-dimensional structures. On the other hand, factorial validity studies using observer form and the Icelandic translation of the CISS reported satisfactory solutions for both models (21,29). It has been noted that four-factor model referring to the social diversion and distraction components of avoidance oriented subscale fits better than three-factor solution (21,22,29). Our findings in a Turkish sample provided further support for the construct validity of the CISS. As a preliminary analysis, we examined the model validity of the two-factor solution for the instrument and found unsatisfactory results for this model. In the second step, the three-factor solution adequately fit to the current data, and in the further analysis, four-factor solution revealed a better fit. However, in spite of the better statistical results for the four-factor model, we mainly went through the three-factor solution in the subsequent analyses.

We prefer and propose the three-factor structure of the CISS in use for several reasons. First, in our preference of the three-factor structure we adopted a rational strategy rather than an empirical one since the three-dimensional solution better represents the theoretical considerations pertaining to the previous coping research. Furthermore, we did not overlook the empirical evidences that the validity of the three factors was confirmed in the factor analysis. Second, using the three-factor CISS in research purposes has an advantage of balanced number of item distribution between the subscales. In this way, it would be possible to more accurately compare the differences between the coping styles among individuals. Third, our three-factor preference is not only a rational strategy but also includes an empirical back ground. Although it has been generally found a better fit for the four dimensions of the instrument (21,22,29), explanatory factor studies have proposed a three-factor structure of the CISS (8,19,30). Fourth, an additional empirical evidence for using three dimensions is that, as generally aimed at factor analysis, inter-correlations between the subscales of the CISS were low in the three-factor solution. However, for the four-factor CISS, the association between the two scales of avoidance-oriented dimension was excessively high. It seems that the connection between these two scales of avoidance-oriented could not be reduced by factor analysis. In other words, the exceptionally high correlation rate indicated a possible overlap and collinearity within these two components.

Internal consistency estimates for the CISS subscales ranged from 0.74 to 0.90. These coefficients pointed out good inner reliability of the instrument. Furthermore, 15-day temporal stability of the CISS indicated adequately high solutions. Our findings for the reliability of the Turkish version of the CISS were in accordance with the previous research that the scale revealed good reliability characteristics. Test-retest and inner reliability of task-oriented subscale was the highest of other subscales as reported in previous studies (8,10,12,21,29).

For the convergent validity of the scale, we computed associations of the subscales of the CISS with the SWLS composite scores, the PANAS subscales, and the COPE subscales. Task-oriented coping was positively linked to positive affect and satisfaction with life, and reversely linked to negative affect. On the contrary, emotion-oriented coping was negatively related to positive affect and satisfaction with life, and positively to negative affect. Positive affect and satisfaction with life were the positive correlates of avoidance subscale. Correlation coefficients ranged from low to moderate. It is well-established that coping is strictly related to affective responses and self-regulation (31,32). Using adaptive coping strategies determines positive outcomes of medical interventions among individuals experiencing aversive physical and psychiatric conditions (33,34). It has been demonstrated in non-clinical Turkish college students that maladaptive coping with stressful situations is a determinant of psychological distress (35,36). In the early psychometric analyses of the CISS, it has been consistently found that emotion-oriented coping strategy was associated with psychological distress and psychopathology. Task-oriented coping was also found to be unrelated to indicators of psychopathology (8,12,37). Further studies reported positive linkages of emotion-oriented coping and negative linkages of task-oriented coping to psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depression (12,29). Significant connections between personality traits and coping strategies have also been consistently pointed out (29,38). The findings were in line with the current theoretical considerations pertaining to the relations between affective regulation and individual coping strategies.

Associations between subscales of the CISS and another coping instrument, the COPE inventory, were computed to assess convergent validity of the instrument. Planning, active coping, positive reinterpretation and growth, suppression of competing activities, use of instrumental social support, and acceptance were positive correlates, while mental disengagement, behavioural disengagement and substance use were negative correlates of task oriented coping dimension of the CISS. Behavioural disengagement, denial, restrain, substance use, focus on and venting of emotions, mental disengagement and use of emotional social support were positive correlates, whereas active coping, planning and positive reinterpretation and growth were negative correlates of emotion oriented subscale of the CISS. Mental disengagement, use of emotional social support, use of instrumental social support, religious coping, positive reinterpretation and growth, and denial were significantly associated with avoidance-oriented subscale of the instrument. As the results were coherent with the expectations, current associations provided further support for the construct validity of the CISS.

This study has several limitations. First, it was conducted on a sample of college students that current findings should be replicated in a larger sample including adult and clinical groups. Second, the CISS is measuring generic coping strategies that people use in stressful situations. Therefore, we did not record the type of stressful situations while the participants of the study may possibly have been experienced during the time period of this study. Further research aimed at identifying possible interactions between coping styles in various types of stressful experiences would be of benefit to psychometric studies of the coping research. Nevertheless, the study provided further evidence about the psychometric properties of the CISS from a non-English speaking country. The instrument revealed sound psychometric characteristics in a non-clinical Turkish sample with high validity and reliability.
Selected Items From the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations

Task Coping
 1. Schedule my time better
 15. Think about how I have solved similar problems
 36. Analyze the problem before reacting

Emotion Coping
 7. Preoccupied with aches and pains
 16. Tell myself that it is not really happening to me
 22. Blame myself for not knowing what to do

Avoidance Coping

 18. Go out for a snack or meal
 48. Watch TV
Social diversion
 4. Try to be with other people
 37. Phone a friend

Stresli Durumlarla Basa Cikma Envanteri'nden Secilmis Maddeler

Cozume Donuk Basa Cikma
 1. Zamanimi daha iyi planlarim
 15. Benzer problemleri nasil cozdugumu dusunurum
 36. Tepki vermeden once problemi analiz ederim.

Duygusal Basa Cikma
 7. Agrilarla sizilarla ugrasip dururum.
 16. Kendi kendime yasadiklarimin gercek olmadigini soylerim
 22. Ne yapacagimi bilemedigim icin kendimi suclarim.

Kacinmaci Basa Cikma

Dikkat Dagitma
 18. Bir seyler atistirmak veya yemek yemek icin disari cikarim.
 48. Televizyon seyrederim

Sosyal Ugras Bulma
 4. Diger insanlarla birlikte olmaya calisirim.
 37. Bir arkadasa telefon ederim.

Conflict of interest: The author reported no conflict of interest related to this article.

Cikar catismasi: Yazar bu makale ile ilgili olarak herhangi bir cikar catismasi bildirmemistir.

DOI: 10.4274/npa.y6192

Author's Declaration: The data presented in this paper is a part of the doctorate study currently being conducted at Ankara University.


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Yuzuncu Yil University Faculty of Humanities, Department of Psychology, Van,


Correspondence Address/Yazisma Adresi: Murat Boysan MD, Yuzuncu Yil University, Department of Psychology, Van, Turkey

Gsm: +90 505 553 06 84 E-mail: Received/Gelis tarihi: 06.90.2011 Accepted/Kabul tarihi: 08.10.2011
Table 1. Goodness of fit statistics

Models [chi df [chi RMSEA SMSR CFI IFI
 square] square]

Two-factor 9088.93 1079 8.42 .10 .12 .76 .76
Three-factor 4195.88 1077 3.90 .06 .08 .91 .91
Four-factor 3281.83 939 3.50 .06 .08 .92 .92

Table 2. Inter-correlations for the CISS subscales

 1 2 3

1. Task-oriented --
2. Emotion-oriented -.31 ** --
3. Avoidance-oriented .23 ** .04 --

 1 2 3 4

1. Task-oriented --
2. Emotion-oriented -.31 ** --
3. Avoidant-Distraction .14 ** .09 ** --
4. Avoidant-Social .29 ** -.02 .67 ** --

** : p<0.01

Table 3. Means, standard deviations, corrected item total
correlations, maximum likelihood factor estimates, and
R2s for items of the CISS subscales


 Mean SD [rho] [lambda] [R.sup.2]

CISS1 2.80 1.12 .45 .47 .22
CISS2 3.65 1.01 .63 .66 .44
CISS6 3.94 1.07 .42 .45 .20
CISS10 3.63 1.12 .59 .61 .37
CISS15 3.51 1.08 .53 .56 .31
CISS21 3.04 1.20 .58 .60 .36
CISS24 3.90 0.95 .57 .61 .37
CISS26 3.45 1.03 .60 .65 .42
CISS27 3.77 1.02 .59 .63 .40
CISS36 3.29 1.16 .57 .60 .36
CISS39 3.20 1.08 .56 .58 .34
CISS41 3.29 1.06 .62 .67 .45
CISS42 3.81 0.98 .65 .70 .49
CISS43 3.43 1.04 .67 .72 .52
CISS46 2.97 1.19 .45 .49 .24
CISS47 3.64 1.01 .66 .69 .48


 Mean SD [rho] [lambda] [R.sup.2]

CISS5 3.05 1.26 .41 .43 .18
CISS7 2.21 1.16 .48 .53 .28
CISS8 2.76 1.25 .62 .66 .44
CISS13 2.83 1.26 .59 .66 .44
CISS14 3.32 1.28 .59 .67 .45
CISS16 1.90 1.14 .26 .23 .05
CISS17 2.72 1.30 .66 .70 .49
CISS19 3.25 1.30 .62 .70 .49
CISS22 2.34 1.19 .67 .73 .53
CISS25 2.02 1.12 .49 .54 .29
CISS28 3.51 1.22 .40 .41 .17
CISS30 2.96 1.13 .64 .70 .49
CISS33 2.76 1.27 .27 .23 .05
CISS34 3.07 1.16 .21 .18 .03
CISS38 3.40 1.23 .49 .54 .29
CISS45 2.38 1.31 .48 .52 .27


 Mean SD [rho] [lambda] [R.sup.2]

CISS3 3.19 1.31 .31 .32 .10
CISS4 3.09 1.30 .44 .49 .24
CISS9 2.32 1.35 .47 .54 .29
CISS11 3.13 1.39 .29 .28 .08
CISS12 3.23 1.37 .50 .53 .28
CISS18 2.53 1.31 .52 .58 .34
CISS20 2.61 1.31 .58 .64 .41
CISS23 2.36 1.24 .55 .62 .38
CISS29 2.86 1.28 .60 .67 .45
CISS31 3.42 1.27 .56 .62 .38
CISS32 3.19 1.35 .39 .43 .18
CISS35 3.79 1.14 .28 .35 .12
CISS37 2.87 1.34 .51 .58 .34
CISS40 2.64 1.38 .47 .50 .25
CISS44 2.25 1.23 .20 .18 .03
CISS48 2.83 1.34 .45 .45 .20

Note: Corrected Item-total correlations are given under
the column illustrated with the Greek letter p. Factor
loadings are illustrated with the Greek letter [lambda].

Table 4. Reliability of the CISS subscales

 Cronbach's 15-day test-retest
 Alfa correlations

Task-Oriented Coping 0.90 0.79 **
Emotional Coping 0.86 0.74 **
Avoidant Coping 0.83 0.76 **
 Avoidant-Social Diversion 0.76 0.70 **
 Avoidant-Distraction 0.74 0.79 **

 **: p<0.01

Table 5. Pearson's correlations between the subscales of the
CISS and psychological variables

 Task-oriented Emotion-oriented

Positive Affect 0.46 ** -0.16 **
Negative Affect -0.16 ** 0.51 **
Satisfaction with 0.18 ** -0.21 **
Life Scale (SWLS)
Positive 0.50 ** -0.25 *
reinterpretation and grovth
Mental disengagement -0.22 * 0.26 *
Focus on and venting -0.02 0.31 **
of emotions
Use of instrumental 0.39 ** -0.07
social support
Active Coping 0.65 ** -0.46 **
Denial -0.16 0.52 **
Religious Coping -0.05 0.19
Humour -0.07 -0.07
Behavioural Disengagem ent -0.40 ** 0.58 **
Restrained 0.01 0.34 **
Use of Emotional 0.04 0.24 *
Social Support
Substance Use -0.41 ** 0.31 **
Acceptance 0.34 ** 0.04
Suppression of 0.40 ** 0.07
Competing Activities
Planning 0.73 ** -0.37 **


Positive Affect 0.16 **
Negative Affect -0.03
Satisfaction with 0.09 *
Life Scale (SWLS)
Positive 0.32 **
reinterpretation and grovth
Mental disengagement 0.67 **
Focus on and venting 0.02
of emotions
Use of instrumental 0.43 **
social support
Active Coping 0.02
Denial 0.28 **
Religious Coping 0.36 **
Humour 0.20
Behavioural Disengagem 0.06
Restrained 0.12
Use of Emotional 0.50 **
Social Support
Substance Use 0.14
Acceptance -0.04
Suppression of -0.04
Competing Activities
Planning -0.03

*: p<0.05; **: p<0.01
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Research Article/Arastirma Makalesi
Author:Boysan, Murat
Publication:Archives of Neuropsychiatry
Article Type:Report
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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