SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.44 issue4Psychosocial and mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown: A rapid qualitative study in migrant shelters at the Mexico-United States border author indexsubject indexsearch form
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Salud mental

Print version ISSN 0185-3325


CHAVEZ-VALDEZ, Sarah Margarita et al. Coping strategies associated to widespread fear and post-traumatic stress criteria in a Mexican sample during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study. Salud Ment [online]. 2021, vol.44, n.4, pp.159-166.  Epub Oct 25, 2021. ISSN 0185-3325.


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the population generating widespread fear due to people’s perception that both their health and safety are at risk. Widespread fear, a synonym for social anxiety, is associated with affective intrusive cognitions. Likewise, it is related to symptoms of post-traumatic stress, physiological intrusive and eluding coping responses, and could be associated with long-term vulnerability to develop PTSD.


To assess the association between coping strategies, widespread fear to COVID-19, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in Mexican population exposed to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.


A cross sectional, empirical, descriptive study through survey research was performed; 370 participants were sampled by nationality quotas, and they completed digital self-informed instruments on an on-line psychosocial intervention. Sample size was estimated using a power analysis.


Findings showed reliable indicators between physiological coping and PTSD symptoms. There was a 42% variance related to PTSD delayed intrusive cognitive responses, a 40% variance was related to PTSD negative alterations in cognitions and mood, a 31% variance was explained by hyperarousal responses, and a 29% of the variance represented PTSD avoidance symptoms. Widespread fear of COVID-19 was explained by affective behavioral coping strategies linked also to PTSD symptoms.

Discussion and conclusion

Research found consistency between findings and theories on emotion-centered strategies, which in turn were are related to affective coping around widespread fear to COVID-19 and avoidance intrusive symptoms, physiological coping with avoidance, considering future community post-traumatic stress traits and anxiety disorders in Mexican communities exposed to the pandemic, linking strategies with community trauma.

Keywords : Coping strategies; widespread fear; post-traumatic stress; Mexican population.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in English     · English ( pdf )