Salud Mental

Adaptability to social distancing due to COVID-19 and its moderating effect on stress by gender


Raquel Morquecho-Sánchez
Raúl Baños
Manuel de la Cruz-Ortega
Héctor Duarte-Félix


Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic, originated in China, has affected millions of people worldwide, leading to various situations such as psychological disorders and diseases that affect people’s physical and mental health, and disrupt their quality of life.

Objective. To analyze stress levels during social distancing due to COVID-19 by gender and to determine the moderating effect of adaptability to the situation.

Method. The study is cross-sectional and quantitative, with a descriptive-correlational scope. The sample consisted of 1,173 Mexican subjects (522 males [44.5%] and 651 females [22.5%]) with an average age of 25.99 years (DT = 11.19; range = 12 - 77 years). Adaptability and perceived stress were measured, obtaining reliability from appropriate instruments.

Results. The results indicated that the greater the number of weeks of social distancing, the higher the perceived level of stress. Also, the better people adapt to social distancing, the less stress occurs. Women were observed to have higher levels of stress compared to men.

Discussion and conclusion. The findings highlight the importance of adaptability to the stressful situation of the pandemic, because the effect of severe stress on women largely disappears when there is a high level of adaptability to the event.
Adaptation, stress, COVID-19, adaptability, mental health, Mexico


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