Humorous coping scales and their fit to a stress and coping framework
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The focus of this study is on the fit between the item content of scales measuring humorous coping and basic concepts of stress and coping theory. To investigate this fit 81 items from seven currently available humorous coping scales have been subjected to a facet analysis, using the tool of a mapping sentence. Three facets derived from stress and coping theory were part of this mapping sentence: external demands, humorous responses and coping aims. Because of the claim that humorous coping may be related to physical health dimensions, special attention has been paid to two health-related coping aims: cognitive reappraisal and response-focused coping responses. Five raters categorized the facets and their respective categories. Some humorous coping scales showed an underrepresentation of “external demands” and “humorous responses” and only a few scales covered the “aims” facet adequately. Reliability and agreement parameters varied considerably among scales, both on facet level and on category level. The Waterloo University Humor Inventory (WUHI) was a positive exception to this pattern. Findings are discussed in the light of specific characteristics of the scales included. Possible improvements of humorous coping measurement in health-related research are proposed, as well as adaptations to the rating procedures.
KeywordsStress and coping theory Humorous coping Facet analysis Mapping sentence Health-related assessment
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