Kidcope and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Understanding High School Students’ Coping and Emotional Well-Being

Wan-Jung Hsieh, Tara Powell, Kevin Tan, Jun-Hong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in social isolation, grief, and loss among many adolescents. As the pandemic continues to impact individuals and communities across the globe, it is critical to address the psychological well-being of youths. More studies are needed to understand the effective ways adolescents cope with pandemic-related psychological distress. In this study, 146 students from 1 high school in a U.S. midwestern state completed an adapted version of Kidcope, a widely used coping instrument in disaster research, and measures were taken on generalized distress and COVID-19-related worries. Findings indicated that most students experienced COVID-19-related fears and general emotional distress. Additionally, we found that disengagement coping strategies were associated with lower general distress (p ≤ 0.05) and COVID-19 worries (p ≤ 0.10). Active coping was not associated with general distress and COVID-19 worries. Overall, our findings highlight the need to develop tailored interventions targeting youth coping strategies to reduce and prevent emotional distress and amplify healthy coping skills as the pandemic persists.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10207
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • emotional well-being
  • mental health
  • coping
  • high school
  • Kidcope
  • Mental health
  • Coping
  • Emotional well-being
  • High school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Kidcope and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Understanding High School Students’ Coping and Emotional Well-Being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this