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The development of a shortened 'ways of coping' questionnaire for use with direct care staff in learning disability services

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1995
<mark>Journal</mark>Mental Handicap Research
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)237-251
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This study reports the development of the Shortened Ways of Coping (Revised) Questionnaire (SWC-R), a measure of staff coping strategies designed to be easily administered and scored in work settings. The 14-item self-report measure is scored into two subscales, Practical Coping and Wishful Thinking, representing distinct Ways of Coping. The reliability of the SWC-R was evaluated by administering questionnaires containing the SWC-R to 181 direct care staff in four learning disability services and, in an attempt to explore issues of validity, measures of social desirability, distress, overall job satisfaction, overall life satisfaction, and propensity to leave the organisation. A subset of 30 staff completed the questionnaire twice over a 16-month period, enabling some exploration of test-retest reliability and predictive validity. Both subscales show adequate psychometric properties in terms of alpha reliabilities, inter-item correlations, inter-scale correlations, and test-retest reliabilities. While the Wishful Thinking subscale is prone to a social desirability bias, exclusion of such a measure from analyses does not seem to lead to false positive errors. The Wishful Thinking subscale shows a reliable positive association with distress (even over a 16-month period) and some negative associations with overall life satisfaction, but the Practical Coping subscale is associated with none of the outcome measures used in the study. The further use of the SWC-R in research concerning direct care staff in human services is recommended.