Measuring Adolescent Coping Styles Following a Natural Disaster: An ESEM Analysis of the Kidcope

Tara M. Powell, Kate M. Wegmann, Stacy Overstreet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ways in which youth cope with the following traumatic experiences have a critical impact on resilience and recovery, yet few measures adequately assess adolescent coping behaviors while exhibiting sound psychometric properties. The current study uses exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) to analyze data from the Kidcope, an assessment tool that is widely used in both clinical and research settings. A total of 652 hurricane-affected adolescent females completed the Kidcope approximately 6 months following Hurricane Katrina. ESEM results yielded a four-factor model including positive coping, blame and anger, wishful thinking, and social withdrawal. The coping behaviors represented in the four latent factors are consistent with results of a previous study of a hurricane-affected White, middle-class sample; however, they differ from the coping behaviors used by primarily Black, lower-income sample experiencing the same disaster. Results indicate that demographic and cultural characteristics may be strong influences in determining children’s coping styles and behaviors and should be taken into account when providing services to help youth recover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-344
Number of pages10
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Coping
  • Exploratory structural equation modeling
  • Measurement
  • Mental health
  • Natural disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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