The psychological consequences of epidemics/pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, include an increase in psychopathological symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and stress, and negative emotions, such as fear. However, relatively little attention has been paid to how people cope with the pandemic. Coping is a multi-component process, helping to diminish the traumatic impact of stressful events in a variety of ways. We studied how university students coped with the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, by developing the Robust - Pandemic Coping Scale (R-PCS), a new scale for measuring coping strategies related to epidemics/pandemics. The scale is based on a classification of coping strategies referred to the needs of competence, relatedness, and autonomy. To create a robust scale, such that the item values would be independent of the sample used for developing it, we employed Rasch modeling. We used a sample of 2,987 Italian university students who participated in an online survey including the R-PCS and the Power to Live with Disasters Questionnaire (PLDQ), during March 2020. First, we applied a dual approach combining exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, which supported the goodness of a 4-factor model (i.e., Despair, Adjustment, Proactivity, and Aversion) for the R-PCS, invariant across gender and age of respondents (younger or as old as 23 years, older than 23 years). We then transformed the raw scores of the R-PCS into interval logit scale scores applying the Rasch model. Second, our findings supported the discriminant validity and the criterion validity of the R-PCS, examining the correlations with the PLDQ. They also confirmed its predictive validity: the R-PCS scores were related to 2-month-later enjoyment and anger, indicating that Adjustment and Proactivity were adaptive while Despair and Aversion were maladaptive. Third, our study revealed gender and age differences: the scores were higher for Despair, Adjustment, and Proactivity for females; for Aversion for males; and for Proactivity for students older than 23 years. The study suffers from limitations related to social desirability, gender imbalance, and self-selection effects in the recruitment.
|Titolo:||Development and Validation of the Robust - Pandemic Coping Scale (R-PCS)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|