Faculty Articles

Title

Typologies of Coping in Young Adults in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2021

Publication Title

The Journal of General Psychology

ISSN or ISBN

1940-0888

Volume

148

Issue/Number

3

Abstract/Excerpt

The COVID-19 pandemic has created major upheavals in the lives of people worldwide. The virus has mostly affected elderly populations, but there may be corollary effects on young adults' psychosocial adjustment due to educational, economic, and occupational disruptions. Using latent class analysis, we examined unique typologies of coping in response to the pandemic among young adults. We used an expanded set of indicators including traditional measures of problem- and emotion-focused coping as well as measures of resilience and coping flexibility. We also examined whether class membership could be predicted by demographics, stress appraisal, and psychosocial characteristics including catastrophic thinking and impulsivity. The sample of 1,391 young adults (ages 18-35) was recruited via Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and snowball methods from late-April to early-May 2020. Six classes were identified: (1) Resilient Flexible Problem-Focused Copers, (2) Resilient Inflexible Problem-Focused Copers, (3) Non-Resilient Flexible Problem-Focused Venters, (4) Non-Resilient Flexible Problem-Focused Copers, (5) Non-Resilient Flexible Non-Copers, and (6) Non-Resilient Inflexible Non-Copers. Using Class 1 as the reference class, we found perceived centrality and uncontrollability of the pandemic as well as catastrophic thinking and impulsivity were significant predictors of class membership. The mean levels of stress appraisal and psychosocial characteristics varied significantly between the classes, reinforcing the structural validity of these classes. The findings suggest the importance of training young adults to develop resilience and flexibility as well as specific coping skills that can help offset the psychological effects of dramatic lifestyle changes that may result from pandemics or other health crises in the future.

DOI

10.1080/00221309.2021.1874864

PubMed ID

33475048

Peer Reviewed

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