Journal Articles

Mapping the Hierarchical Structure of Coping: Unifying Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives

2007, Journal of Consumer Psychology

Adam Duhachek, James L. Oakley


Consumer researchers have become increasingly interested in the study of coping. This research contributes to this emerging paradigm by investigating structural theories of coping using a hierarchical modeling approach to better understand the basic dimensional properties of this multifaceted construct. This research makes gains along several fronts. First, the authors empirically examine a new lower order theory of coping based on a comprehensive synthesis of the literature, reconciling nomenclatural and conceptual redundancies found in the structure of coping literature. Analyses across 2 studies using different methods offer support for a 2-dimensional higher order model of coping. Finally, a third study using an experimental approach validates these findings by showing unique effects relating an approach—avoidance based higher order model to theoretically predicted emotional antecedents. By examining the mapping of lower order coping strategies onto several higher order coping theories, this research addresses the extant disjuncture between coping theory and measurement found in the literature and offers reconciliation between these 2 perspectives. The findings suggest the need for future coping research to focus on other 2-dimensional theories beyond problem-focused versus emotion-focused coping. The findings build on the synergies among the many coping perspectives, and the implications of a better understanding of coping's hierarchical structure for consumer researchers is discussed.


Duhachek, Adam and James L. Oakley (2007), “Mapping the Hierarchical Structure of Coping: Unifying Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 218-233.