Emotional Distress and Coping Strategies in COVID-19 Pandemic across Different Stages of Life: An Eriksonian Perspective
Prathama G Chaudhuri, Megha Rathi, Aparna Sharma, Yoshita Agarwal
Anxiety, Coping styles, Coronavirus disease-2019, Depression, Mental health
Citation Information :
Chaudhuri PG, Rathi M, Sharma A, Agarwal Y. Emotional Distress and Coping Strategies in COVID-19 Pandemic across Different Stages of Life: An Eriksonian Perspective. Ind J Priv Psychiatry 2023; 17 (1):40-44.
Background: The early part of 2020 saw countries across the world take various measures to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and impose restrictions on the movement of people. In a developing economy like India, the effects of a lockdown on the life and livelihood of people are huge, and reports are unequivocal about the psychological impact it is having on the mental health of individuals.
Objectives: This study examined how the imposed lockdown affected the emotional states of individuals across age-groups and the various coping styles adopted to deal with the overwhelming uncertainty, anxiety, and lack of productivity.
Materials and methods: This study was carried out in early 2020, comprising 600 men and women from metropolitan cities in India belonging to the age-group of 20–89 years, hailing from upper or upper-middle income backgrounds with a minimum education level of higher secondary. The tools used were Beck Depression Inventory II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) Form Y, and Coping strategies inventory. Multivariate analysis of variances (MANOVA) was used for statistical computation.
Results: Results indicated that young adults displayed intense depression and anxiety relative to other age-groups. Men had significantly more anxiety and depression across all age-groups. People across different age-groups displayed different coping styles. Problem solving and cognitive restructuring were dominant coping styles in early and middle adulthood. Seeking social support was found to be highest in young adulthood. Expressed emotions and social withdrawal were more prominent coping styles in late adulthood.
Conclusion: The results indicate significant psychological distress in all age-groups during pandemic with young adults being affected the most. Coping strategies differed across different stages of the life cycle. The findings may facilitate the formulation of effective intervention across different age-groups, both during and after the pandemic.
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