The factor structure and measurement invariance of the coping inventory for stressful situations in a sexual minority population

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Song Chao, Ann Buysse, Wei Hong Zhang, Ciyong Lu, Meijun Zhao, Alexis Dewaele


Coping strategies have been studied as protective factors against stress for individuals. However, the psychometric properties of the most widely used coping self-report questionnaires, the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS-21), have not been examined in a sexual minority population (men and women that identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual or LGB). In this study, we conducted exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) simultaneously to assess the factor structure of the CISS-21 questionnaire in LGBs. Also, we tested the measurement invariance of CISS across sex and sexual identity in the LGB sample (N = 2850, 52.00% woman, mean age = 32.46 years). The results show that a four-factor structure consisting of task-oriented coping (TOC), emotion-oriented coping (EOC), distraction-oriented coping (DOC), and social diversion-oriented coping (SOC) explained the data best. The results also show acceptable internal consistency reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity. Subsequently, multi-group analyses established measurement invariance across sex and sexual identity. These results indicate that the CISS-21 could be used as a simple, reliable, and valid scale for measuring coping strategies in LGBs, and that it allows valid score comparisons from different sex and sexual identity groups.

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