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Activities and Behaviors Questionnaire
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About Scale Name
Activities and Behaviors Questionnaire
James W. Pennebaker, Mark A. Colder, and Laura K. Sharp
The Activities and Behaviors Questionnaire (ABQ) was developed by James W. Pennebaker, Mark A. Colder, and Laura K. Sharp in 1990. The questionnaire was designed to assess coping behaviors and strategies used by individuals in response to stressful situations.
The ABQ consists of 43 items that assess coping strategies in four different domains: (1) Cognitive Restructuring, (2) Social Support, (3) Physical Activity, and (4) Relaxation. Participants are asked to rate the frequency with which they engage in different coping behaviors on a scale from 1 (never) to 4 (very often).
The Cognitive Restructuring domain includes items related to changing negative self-talk, finding new solutions to problems, and reinterpreting events. The Social Support domain includes items related to seeking help and support from others. The Physical Activity domain includes items related to engaging in exercise and other physical activities. The Relaxation domain includes items related to engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
The ABQ has been found to have good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and validity, and can be useful in both clinical and research settings to assess coping behaviors and develop interventions to improve coping skills. It has been used in a variety of settings and with different populations, including in studies of coping with illness, trauma, and stress in both clinical and non-clinical populations.
Scoring, Administration and Interpretation
The Activities and Behaviors Questionnaire (ABQ) is a self-report measure that can be administered in a variety of settings, including clinical and research settings. Participants are typically asked to complete the questionnaire by themselves, although it can also be administered in an interview format.
Scoring the ABQ involves summing the responses to each item within each domain. The possible range of scores for each domain is from 4 to 16, with higher scores indicating more frequent use of coping behaviors in that domain.
Interpretation of ABQ scores involves examining the relative strengths and weaknesses in each domain, as well as the overall coping profile. For example, if a participant scores high in the Physical Activity domain but low in the Social Support domain, this may suggest that they rely heavily on physical activity as a coping strategy and may benefit from developing stronger social support networks.
It is important to note that the ABQ is just one tool for assessing coping behaviors, and interpretation of scores should be done in the context of other relevant information, such as the participant’s current stressors and life circumstances. Additionally, while the ABQ has been found to have good psychometric properties, no measure is perfect, and results should be interpreted with caution.
Reliability and Validity
Reliability refers to the consistency and stability of scores over time and across different samples. The ABQ has been found to have good internal consistency, with Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranging from .68 to .85 across the different domains of the questionnaire. The test-retest reliability of the ABQ has also been found to be good, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from .71 to .85 across the different domains.
Validity refers to the extent to which a measure assesses what it is intended to assess. The ABQ has been found to have good construct validity, which means that the domains of the questionnaire measure what they are intended to measure. The four domains of the ABQ have been found to be related to other measures of coping and related constructs in expected ways. For example, the Cognitive Restructuring domain of the ABQ has been found to be related to positive reappraisal coping, while the Social Support domain has been found to be related to social support seeking behavior.
The ABQ has also been found to have good criterion-related validity, which means that the scores on the ABQ are related to relevant outcomes. For example, higher scores on the ABQ domains have been associated with better mental health outcomes and greater subjective well-being in several studies.
Pennebaker, J. W., Colder, M., & Sharp, L. K. (1990). Accelerating the coping process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(3), 528-537. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.528
Pennebaker, J.W. (2013). College Activities and Behaviors Questionnaire (CABQ). Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Science. Retrieved from https://www.midss.ie.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the ABQ used for?
A: The ABQ is a measure of coping behaviors that assesses strategies used by individuals in response to stressful situations. It can be used in clinical and research settings to assess coping behaviors and develop interventions to improve coping skills.
Q: How many items are in the ABQ?
A: The original version of the ABQ consists of 43 items, but there is a shortened version that includes 22 items.
Q: How is the ABQ scored?
A: Scores are obtained by summing the responses to each item within each domain, and the possible range of scores for each domain is from 4 to 16.
Q: What are the domains of the ABQ?
A: The ABQ consists of four domains: (1) Cognitive Restructuring, (2) Social Support, (3) Physical Activity, and (4) Relaxation.
Q: Is the ABQ a reliable measure?
A: Yes, the ABQ has been found to have good internal consistency and test-retest reliability.
Q: Is the ABQ a valid measure?
A: Yes, the ABQ has been found to have good construct validity and criterion-related validity.
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