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In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid transmission of a novel virus and the unprecedented disease-mitigation measures have elicited considerable stress in many countries worldwide. Coping with pandemic stress may be differentially related to psychological symptoms across countries characterised by distinct cultural values. This study aimed to: (a) synthesise the literature by investigating the associations between some major types of coping style and psychological symptoms, and (b) investigate the moderating effects of culture on these associations. We performed a three-level random-effects meta-analysis, which included 151 independent samples from 44 countries across eight world regions (n = 137,088, 66% women, Mage = 36.08). For both problem-focused and avoidant coping styles, their hypothesised associations with psychological symptoms were robust across the countries (anxiety: rs = -.11 and .31; depression: rs = -.19 and .33; ps 

Original publication




Journal article


Health Psychol Rev

Publication Date





141 - 164


Mental health, coping, coronavirus, epidemic, health crisis, psychological distress, Male, Humans, Female, COVID-19, Mental Health, Pandemics, Adaptation, Psychological, Emotions