Objective: To develop a psychometric instrument to evaluate psychological processes associated with institutional abuse and coping strategies used to deal with such abuse. Methods: As part of a comprehensive assessment protocol, an inventory containing theoretically derived multi-item rational scales which assessed institutional abuse-related psychological processes and coping strategies were administered to 247 Irish adult survivors of institutional child abuse. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to derive 6-factor scales, the reliability and validity of which were assessed. Results: Factor scales to assess the following constructs were developed (1) traumatization, (2) re-enactment, (3) spiritual disengagement, (4) positive coping, (5) coping by complying, and (6) avoidant coping. There were varying degrees of support for the validity of the scales with most support for the traumatization and re-enactment scales. Conclusions: The Institutional Child Abuse Processes and Coping Inventory (ICAPCI), particularly its traumatization and re-enactment scales, may be used in future research on adult survivors of institutional child abuse because they are currently the only scales that have been developed with this population to provide reliable and valid assessments of these constructs. Practice implications: The ICAPCI may be used, cautiously, to assess adult survivors of institutional child abuse. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.