Immediate psychological responses and coping styles of tertiary school employees during the COVID-19 pandemic

Adelaida G. Rosaldo, Charlie C. Falguera, Filedito D. Tandico, Joel A. Valencia, Carmen N. Firmo

Abstract


Background: The COVID-19 outbreak broadly affected not only the physical but also the psychological wellbeing of the people. However, few studies have been conducted concerning its psychological impact specifically on employees from the academe.

Objectives: To determine the psychological responses and coping styles of employees of the School of Health Sciences at the University of the Philippines - Manila during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, this study sought to determine the association between participants’ socio-demographic characteristics and their psychological responses, and between participants’ psychological responses and their coping styles used.

Methods: We employed a cross-sectional design and self-selection or volunteer sampling to recruit 46 academics and support staff employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data were collected in April 2020. Psychological responses were determined with the 10-item Kessler’s Psychological Distress Scale. Coping styles were assessed with the short-form Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire. Likelihood ratio chi-square tests and Spearman rho tests were conducted to test the hypotheses. Statistical significance was determined at p < .05.

Results: The majority of participants reported low levels of psychological distress in the early stage of the pandemic (n=44; 95.65%). We found a statistically significant relationship between psychological responses and coping styles characterized by rumination (rs = 0.454; P = 0.002) and catastrophizing (rs = 0.408; P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Our study confirmed the significance of psychological responses during the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrated a specific association with coping styles characterized by rumination and catastrophizing but are unsuitably less adaptive. Hence, the application of less adaptive techniques when psychologically distressed from the pandemic need to be corrected or modified.

Keywords


COVID-19 pandemic, immediate psychological responses, coping styles, employees, college, University of the Philippines

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X