Measuring Coping Among Family Members with Substance-Misusing Relatives: Testing Competing Factor Structures of the Coping Questionnaire (CQ) in England and Italy

Zsolt Horváth, Jim Orford, Richard Velleman, Róbert Urbán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The Coping Questionnaire measures affected family members’ responses to their relatives’ substance misuse related problems. The Coping Questionnaire examines three main coping strategies: engaged, tolerant-inactive, and withdrawal coping. Objectives: The aim of the current study was to compare competing conceptual measurement models across two countries, including one-factor, three-factor, and higher order factor models. Methods: Secondary analysis of data from five previous studies was conducted. Samples of affected family members from England (N = 323) and Italy (N = 165) were aggregated into two country specific groups. Series of confirmatory factor analyses were performed to test the degree of model fit and the effects of socio-demographic variables on the coping factors. Results: A bifactor model fitted the data most closely relative to the one- and three-factor models. High rates of common variance (60–65%) were attributable to the general coping factor, while a high proportion of the variance related to the withdrawal coping subscale score was independent (66–89%) of the general coping factor. Family members’ country, age, gender, the type of relationship and the main problematic substance had significant effects on the coping factors. Conclusions: A bifactor model related to coping behaviors is consistent with the theoretical assumptions of the general coping literature. The concept of a general coping factor also fits the theoretical assumptions of the stress-strain-coping-support model, with family members showing a general tendency to cope with the harmful circumstances which arise due to substance misuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-480
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number3
Early online date15 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Affected family members
  • bifactor model
  • confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)
  • stress-strain-coping-support model
  • substance misuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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