Evidence-based practice requires the use of data grounded in theory with clear conceptualization and reliable and valid measurement. Unfortunately, developing a knowledge base regarding children’s coping in the context of disasters, terrorism, and war has been hampered by a lack of theoretical consensus and a virtual absence of rigorous test construction, implementation, and evaluation. This report presents a comprehensive review of measurement tools assessing child and adolescent coping in the aftermath of mass trauma, with a particular emphasis on coping dimensions identified through factor analytic procedures. Coping measurement and issues related to the assessment of coping are reviewed. Concepts important in instrument development and psychometric features of coping measures used in disasters, terrorism, and war are presented. The relationships between coping dimensions and both youth characteristics and clinical outcomes also are presented. A discussion of the reviewed findings highlights the difficulty clinicians may experience when trying to integrate the inconsistencies in coping dimensions across studies. Incorporating the need for multiple informants and the difference between general and context-specific coping measures suggests the importance of a multilevel, theoretical conceptualization of coping and thus, the use of more advanced statistical measures. Attention also is given to issues deemed important for further exploration in child disaster coping research.
PfefferbaumB, NitiémaP, JacobsAK, NoffsingerMA, WindLH, AllenSF. Review of Coping in Children Exposed to Mass Trauma: Measurement Tools, Coping Styles, and Clinical Implications. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(2):169–180.