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Study: Stressors and coping strategies during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany

17 August 2020 | By: Alexander Götmann, Research Assistant Leadership
Covid-19 and how to deal with stress

Policy interventions intended to fight COVID-19 have had a large impact on daily life and forced people to deal with several restrictions and challenges that were unprecedented in recent history.

In their study, Alexander Götmann and Myriam Bechtoldt investigated whether participants perceived more or less stress during the lockdown, what changes people viewed as most stressful, how they dealt with them and which dispositional resources predicted higher well-being.

Results of the multi-wave study with 93 participants and 13 measurement points in a timeframe of two months revealed the following: On average, participants reported that they felt less stressed than before COVID-19; this experience remained largely stable over the assessment period. Health-related concerns played a major role immediately after the lockdown but decreased over time. Stress due family responsibilities initially increased but began to decrease in mid-April, whereas concerns about work- and social-related activities increased in importance. Considering parental status and gender, changes related to family life were in particular stressful for mothers. Fathers on the other hand were more strongly than mothers concerned about their work and income. Engagement related coping responses – e.g. reflecting on the situation – were positively related to mental well-being while disengagement coping responses – e.g. blaming oneself or others – were negatively related to well-being. Moreover, trait mindfulness was positively associated with engagement coping and well-being over time.

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