Appraisal and coping predict health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: An international approach

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  • Leslie D. Kirby
  • Weiqiang Qian
  • Zafer Adiguzel
  • Asghar Afshar Jahanshahi
  • Margarita Bakracheva
  • Maria C. Orejarena Ballestas
  • Jose Fernando A. Cruz
  • Arobindu Dash
  • Claudia Dias
  • Maria J. Ferreira
  • Johanna G. Goosen
  • Shanmukh, V Kamble
  • Nikolay L. Mihaylov
  • Fada Pan
  • Rui Sofia
  • Mirre Stallen
  • Maya Tamir
  • Wilco W. van Dijk
  • Joar Vitterso
  • Craig A. Smith

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people worldwide. We conducted an international survey (n = 3646) examining the degree to which people's appraisals and coping activities around the pandemic predicted their health and well-being. We obtained subsamples from 12 countries—Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Turkey and the United States. For each, we assessed appraisals and coping strategies as well as indicators of physical and mental health and well-being. Results indicated that, despite mean-level societal differences in outcomes, the pattern of appraisals and coping strategies predicting health and well-being was consistent across countries. Use of disengagement coping (particularly behavioural disengagement and self-isolation) was associated with relatively negative outcomes. In contrast, optimistic appraisals (particularly of high accommodation-focused coping potential and the ability to meet one's physical needs), use of problem-focused coping strategies (especially problem-solving) and accommodative coping strategies (especially positive reappraisal and self-encouragement) were associated with relatively positive outcomes. Our study highlights the critical importance of considering accommodative coping in stress and coping research. It also provides important information on how people have been dealing with the pandemic, the predictors of well-being under pandemic conditions and the generality of such relations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 International Union of Psychological Science.

    Research areas

  • COVID-19, Pandemic, International, Appraisal theory, Coping, Health, Well-being