Brief Cope

1. I’ve been turning to work or other activities to take my mind off things.
2. I’ve been concentrating my efforts on doing something about the situation I’m in.
3. I’ve been saying to myself “this isn’t real.”
4. I’ve been using alcohol or other drugs to make myself feel better.
5. I’ve been getting emotional support from others.
6. I’ve been giving up trying to deal with it.
7. I’ve been taking action to try to make the situation better.
8. I’ve been refusing to believe that it has happened.
9. I’ve been saying things to let my unpleasant feelings escape.
10. I’ve been getting help and advice from other people.
11. I’ve been using alcohol or other drugs to help me get through it.
12. I’ve been trying to see it in a different light‚ to make it seem more positive.
13. I’ve been criticizing myself.
14. I’ve been trying to come up with a strategy about what to do.
15. I’ve been getting comfort and understanding from someone.
16. I’ve been giving up the attempt to cope.
17. I’ve been looking for something good in what is happening.
18. I’ve been making jokes about it.
19. I’ve been doing something to think about it less‚ such as going to movies‚ watching TV‚ reading‚ daydreaming‚ sleeping‚ or shopping.
20. I’ve been accepting the reality of the fact that it has happened.
21. I’ve been expressing my negative feelings.
22. I’ve been trying to find comfort in my religion or spiritual beliefs.
23. I’ve been trying to get advice or help from other people about what to do.
24. I’ve been learning to live with it.
25. I’ve been thinking hard about what steps to take.
26. I’ve been blaming myself for things that happened.
27. I’ve been praying or meditating.
28. I’ve been making fun of the situation.
1 = I haven’t been doing this at all; 2 = I’ve been doing this a little bit; 3 = I’ve been doing this a medium amount; 4 = I’ve been doing this a lot
Self-Distraction (items 1 and 19); Active Coping (items 2 and 7); Use of Emotional Support (items 5 and 15); Use of Instrumental Support(items 10 and 23); Venting (items 9 and 21); Positive Reframing (items 12 and 17);Planning (items 14 and 25); Humor (items 18 and 28); Acceptance (items 20 and 24); andReligion (items 22 and 27). Negative scales are Denial (items 3 and 8); Substance Use(items 4 and 11); Behavioral Disengagement (items 6 and 16); and Self-blame (items 13and 26).
This instrument can be found on page 115 of “Differences in Perceived Stress‚ Affect‚ Anxiety‚ and Coping Ability Among College Students in Physical Education Courses”. Available online at:

Carver‚ C. S. (1997). You want to measure coping but your protocol’s too long: Consider the Brief COPE. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine‚ 4(1)‚ 92-100.

Carver‚ C. S.‚ Scheier‚ M. F.‚ & Weintraub‚ J. K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology‚ 56‚ 267-283.

Levine‚ Rachel Permuth.2007. Differences in Perceived Stress‚ Affect‚ Anxiety‚ and Coping Ability Among College Students in Physical Education Courses. University of Maryland‚ College Park. PhD Dissertation.