Coping as a moderator of the influence of economic stressors on psychological health

Saul Neves Jesus, Ana Rita Leal, João Nuno Viseu, Patrícia Valle, Rafaela Dias Matavelli, Joana Pereira, Esther Greenglass


Since 2008, there has been a decline in the economy of several European countries, including Portugal. In the literature, it is emphasized that periods of economic uncertainty propitiate the appearance of mental health problems and diminish populations’ well-being. The aim of the present study, with 729 Portuguese participants, 33.9% (n = 247) males and 66.1% (n = 482) females with an average age of, approximately, 37 years old (M = 36.99; SD = 12.81), was to examine the relationship between economic hardship, financial threat, and financial well-being (i.e., economic stressors) and stress, anxiety, and depression (i.e., psychological health indicators), as well as to test the moderation effect of coping in the aforementioned relationship. To achieve these goals, a cross-sectional design was implemented and structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the obtained data. The results showed that coping decreased the influence of economic stressors on psychological health indicators, thus protecting individuals’ psychological health from the negative consequences associated with adverse economic situations.


Anxiety, Coping, Depression, Economic stressors, Stress


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