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Life's adversities out of our control can create stress and suffering. Examples might include chronic disease, terminal illness, bereavement, and regrettable decisions. When problem-focused coping strategies fail to repair a loss of control or restore health, a sense of futility and desperation may provoke negative emotions. In facing the inevitable, people may turn to emotional-approach coping strategies, such as accepting the situation so life can go on. In Thailand, Thum-jai (acceptance) is a culturally embedded, positive emotional-approach coping strategy used by people who experience an overwhelming life crisis they cannot control. To help Thai people improve their psychological well-being, nurse clinicians/researchers find it beneficial to measure psychological concepts; however, no instrument exists to measure Thum-jai. The three aims of the methodological and developmental study were to 1) develop a self‐report instrument measuring Thum-jai, 2) assess the scale’s psychometric properties, and 3) retain a concise set of items measuring the concept. After an etic-emic process to generate scale items, we used two nonprobability sampling methods to obtain a sample of 541 participants in Thailand who completed an online survey. The mean age was 42.1 years. The majority were female and Buddhists.
Principal axis factoring revealed 12 items that were congruent with themes that had been uncovered in previous qualitative research about the meaning of Thum-jai. Results indicate the 12-item Thum-jai (Acceptance) Scale is a self-report instrument that shows acceptable reliability and validity with a level of cultural authenticity. We propose that Thum-jai mediates health outcome variables when determining its effects on psychological states, such as depression, hopelessness, resilience, self-efficacy, sense of coherence, and stress. Using the scale, psychiatric-mental health nurses may wish to appraise a person’s psychological readiness for enhanced coping after sustaining a life crisis.
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