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Study: Coping with COVID-19 – Longitudinal analysis of coping strategies and the role of trait mindfulness in mental well-being

24 February 2021 | By: Alexander Götmann, Research Assistant Leadership
Stress management in everyday working life

Who is better able to cope with the stress of the COVID pandemic? Alexander Götmann and Myriam Bechtoldt investigated this question in a longitudinal study over a period of 2 months. The key finding is that individuals with higher levels of dispositional mindfulness are more successful in coping with the crisis.

Policy interventions intended to fight COVID-19 forced people to cope with several restrictions on their personal freedom. The study by Alexander Götmann and Myriam Bechtoldt addressed the question of how people dealt with stressors during a lockdown period and investigated the role of trait mindfulness and its subcomponents in coping and mental well-being. They recruited a sample of 93 participants to study coping reactions using a multi-wave study over a period of two months with 13 measurement points. Multilevel analysis revealed that engagement-related coping such as problem-solving was positively related to well-being; the opposite was true for disengagement coping such as blaming. The mindfulness facet orientation towards experience (being open and accepting experiences without judgment) was negatively related to disengagement coping, while the facet self-regulated attention (awareness of the present moment) was positively related to engagement coping. Self-regulated attention but not orientation towards experience was associated with savoring positive aspects of COVID-related changes over time. Engagement-related coping mediated the effects of trait mindfulness on well-being. The findings point to the differential effects of subcomponents of trait mindfulness in the context of coping and mental well-being. Further implications are discussed.

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