Exploring experiences with stressors and coping resources among Dutch socioeconomic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article

<p>The COVID-19 crisis impacts populations globally. This impact seems to differ for groups with low- and high-socioeconomic status (SES). We conducted a qualitative study in the Netherlands using a salutogenic perspective to examine experiences with stressors and coping resources during the pandemic among both SES groups to gain insight on how to promote the health and well-being of these groups. We conducted 10 focus group discussions and 20 interviews to explore the experiences, including resources and stressors, of respondents from low- (N = 37) and high-SES (N = 38) groups (25-55 years, Dutch speaking). We analyzed the findings at individual, community, and national levels. The results show that coping depends on government-imposed measures and the way individuals handle these measures; restriction to the home context with positive and negative consequences for work and leisure; psychological negative consequences and resourcefulness; and social effects related to unity (e.g. social cohesion or support) and division (including polarization). Respondents with lower SES expressed more problems with COVID-19 measures and experienced more social impact in their neighborhood than those with higher SES. Where low-SES groups especially mentioned the effects of staying at home on family life, high-SES groups mentioned effects on work life. At last, psychological consequences seem to differ somewhat across SES groups. Recommendations include consistent government-imposed measures and government communication, support for home schooling children, and strengthening the social fabric of neighborhoods.</p>

Reference van der Kamp, D., Torensma, M., Vader, S., Pijpker, R., den Broeder, L., Fransen, M. P., & Wagemakers, A. (2023). Exploring experiences with stressors and coping resources among Dutch socioeconomic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Promotion International, 38(1), 1-12. Article daac198. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daac198
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 February 2023

Publication date