Development of the K-2 Coping Inventory
A young child’s ability to proactively cope in the face of stressful events has been shown to protect against negative effects on a wide range of future academic and health outcomes, while maladaptive coping strategies may have the opposite effect. Yet, a measure of coping strategies in early childhood that can help identify and promote effective, contextually relevant strategies is almost non-existent. The goal of this study is to develop the K-2 Coping Inventory, a self-report tool for kindergarten to second grade children to identify the types of coping strategies that they use in response to stress. The first aim of the study was to conduct a scoping review of the literature to extract all reported coping strategies used by children under the age of eight. Second, interviews with children were conducted to further inform item selection and validate scoping review findings. Next, findings from the scoping review were systematically integrated with findings from child interviews to develop a final pool of items for inclusion on the new measure. Finally, a factor structure used to conceptualize coping among kindergarten to second grade children in response to stress was postulated for further evaluation. Twenty-four sources met scoping review inclusion criteria, with 28 unique coping strategies extracted following full-text review. Additionally, 24 kindergarten to second grade students (Mean age = 6 years old) completed semi-structured interviews to inform item selection. Integrated findings suggested that the K-2 Coping Inventory include 23-items, with a proposed three-factor structure, including “prosocial,” “asocial,” and “antisocial” coping domains. The new measure has the potential to be an efficient and reliable screening tool used to better understand coping for younger children.