This study translated the coping scales of the German SCI into English and examined the psychometric qualities of the English SCI coping scales in a representative UK sample, to find out whether the translated version provides a useful tool for measuring coping styles in English-speaking populations. First EFA was used to explore the factor-structure of the English SCI coping scales and then CFA was applied to evaluate how well the original five-factor structure for the German version as reported by Satow  can be replicated for the English version. Similar to the German version, the EFA performed with the English version found a five-factor structure, although some items loaded on different factors, which resulted in two ambiguous factors, both containing items from the original factors positive thinking and active stress coping. CFA revealed poor model fit for the original five factor structure that has been reported for the German SCI scales by Satow . The results of the current study indicated good internal consistency for both the original (German version) as well as the newly found (English version) factor structure, with Cronbach’s alphas similar to those of the German SCI . Whereas the original coping scales consist of four items each, the new coping scales do not contain the same number of items anymore. For example, factor 1 (Religious Coping) consists of only three items, while factor 3 (Various Coping) now contains six items. Cronbach’s Alphas tend to increase with the number of items in a scale, which has to be considered when interpreting these results. Nevertheless, while the three-item factor 5 (Reflective Coping) has a rather low α of 0.69, the three-item factor 1 has an α of 0.91, which is even higher than that of the respective original German scale with four items. Construct validity of the new factor structure obtained from EFA for the English version is supported by significant correlations showing convergent and divergent validity. Coping styles considered as adaptive correlated positively with resilience and negatively with perceived stress, except for one factor. As Factor 1 (Religious Coping) did not significantly correlate with perceived stress, the hypothesis regarding divergent validity could not be confirmed for this factor. The coping style alcohol and cigarette consumption, which is considered as maladaptive, correlated positively with perceived stress and negatively with resilience. The original factor structure reported by Satow  showed similar correlations in our English-speaking sample. Coping scales considered as adaptive correlated positive with resilience and negative correlations with perceived stress. Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption again correlated negatively with the other coping scales and resilience and positively with perceived stress. These results for convergent/divergent validity correspond to the correlations reported in the original German sample by Satow : the SCI scales Positive Thinking, Social Support, and Active Stress Coping correlated negatively with stress symptoms, and Alcohol and Cigarette consumption correlated positively with stress symptoms in the original German sample .
Similar to our results, prior research shows that adaptive coping strategies are characterized by better coping results, such as better psychological adjustment  or well-being , while maladaptive coping strategies can increase perceived stress . Furthermore, a lack of adaptive coping strategies has been associated with chronic stress . A variety of studies show that alcohol consumption can be predicted by high stress levels (e.g. [11, 45]). In contrast to our results, the consumption of alcohol as a mean to cope with stressful situations can also have stress-reducing effects, although these typically are only short-term effects . A negative relationship between alcohol consumption and stress is supported by research in the long-term . Chronic alcohol abuse negatively affects several neurological and physiological functions, including the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis, which can lead to long-term stress dysregulation . The positive effects of alcohol consumption furthermore seem to depend to some extent on personality traits such as extraversion .
Regarding coping and resilience, our results replicate previous findings. Campbell-Sills et al.  found that task-oriented coping strategies, intended to represent adaptive coping, were positively related to resilience, while emotion-oriented coping strategies, intended to represent maladaptive coping, were associated with lower resilience. A study on coping and resilience in competitive sport also reported positive correlations between task-oriented coping strategies and resilience, while disengagement- and distraction-oriented coping strategies correlated negatively with resilience . Syed et al.  on the other hand, discuss how task orientation in the workforce can also negatively impact psychosocial factors and even lead to increased stress. Smith et al.  found resilience to be positively correlated to social support and active coping and negatively correlated to substance use. Furthermore, resilience was negatively correlated with perceived stress.
Although the results indicate good reliability and construct validity, the factorial validity was problematic. Similar to the original scale structure found for the German version , the EFA performed with the English version resulted in a five-factor structure. However, the resulting factor loadings differed to some extent to those from the original study with the German version and some items loaded on different factors than in the original German version found by Satow . In line with the conceptualization of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies, the first and second factors of the English version, obtained from EFA, represent the adaptive coping styles support in faith and social support and the fourth factor represents the maladaptive coping style alcohol and cigarette consumption. The third and fifth factors seem to represent adaptive coping styles as well. However, they are more difficult to interpret, as they both hold items from the scales positive thinking and active stress coping. The third factor was named Various Coping as it contained items from three different scales which did not seem to have an obvious common topic. The fifth factor was named Reflective Coping as all items seemed to address some form of reflection about stress.
Furthermore, the originally found five-factor structure in the German version showed poor model fit when tested in CFA with the English items. The model fit could be improved by covarying some of the error terms and deleting item 18. Both the reliability analysis and the EFA showed this item to be problematic as well. It is relevant to note that this item had the lowest discriminatory value (0.43) as well as the lowest factor loading (0.35) of all the items in the original study as well .
One reason for the divergence of these results for the English version to the original findings for the German version could be that the coping behavior of our sample was influenced by the COVID-19 lockdown measures. It is possible that opportunities for active coping strategies were limited by lockdown restrictions and some individuals resorted to different forms of coping, such as positive thinking. Moreover, it could be that some forms of intentional positive thinking were seen as a form of active coping. Similarly, it is possible that some forms of religious coping, such as collective prayer in a house of worship, were restricted by lockdown measures. Furthermore, the problematic item 18 “Under stress and pressure, I remember that there are greater values in life” does not explicitly refer to faith, prayer, or higher forces like the other three items of the support in faith factor found in the German version , that clustered together on factor 1 (Religious Coping) in the factor structure found via EFA for the English version. It is possible that the participants in the British sample did not associate greater values to religious coping, in contrast to the German-speaking original sample. Interpreted in a non-religious way, this item can also be assigned to positive thinking. This inconsistency might be resolved by exploring the participants’ specific interpretations of this item. It is important to note that these deliberations are highly speculative, however, and should be explored further in qualitative studies.
Various limitations should be considered when interpreting these results. The cross-sectional design and calculated correlations do not allow for causal conclusions. To investigate causal relationships between coping styles and stress as well as resilience, longitudinal studies are needed.
Furthermore, as the participants in this study were exposed to a particularly unusual situation—COVID-19 lockdown measures and restrictions—it is possible that the results are different than they would have been under normal circumstances, since coping behavior might differ during lockdown. During the COVID-19 lockdown measures, which became obligatory on the 24th of March 2020 in the UK, leaving the house was only allowed in the following exceptions: shopping for food and other necessities, exercising alone or with someone from the same household, leaving the house for medical reasons, including providing care to others, and commuting to and from work. Studies on mental health during lockdown in the UK revealed that psychological distress increased during lockdown in comparison to pre-COVID times [28, 29]. The factor structure of the English SCI coping scales might therefore differ from the German SCI coping scales, which were analyzed under ordinary circumstances. It is furthermore possible, that the factor structure could have looked different if the data had been gathered in an ordinary situation, outside of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is unclear how this particular situation affected the results of the present study. The new factor structure found in EFA for the English version is only preliminary and needs to be evaluated with CFA in future studies with large new samples.