Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Coping strategies and belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Molenda, Zuzanna, Marchlewska, Marta, Karakula, Adam, Szczepańska, Dagmara, Rogoza, Marta, Green, Ricky, Cislak, Aleksandra, Douglas, Karen (2023) Coping strategies and belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories. British Journal of Social Psychology, 63 (1). pp. 319-339. ISSN 0144-6665. E-ISSN 2044-8309. (doi:10.1111/bjso.12684) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:102450)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 5 September 2024.
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of COPE&CovidConsp_paper.pdf]
Official URL:


Conspiracy beliefs have been related to aversive emotional experiences often accompanying major world events and have also been linked to maladaptive ways of coping with stress. In this research, we examined how different coping strategies (i.e., self-sufficient, social-support, avoidance, and religious) predicted the adoption of COVID-19 conspiracy theories. In two studies (Study 1, n = 1000 and Study 2, n = 616) conducted among Polish participants, we found that avoidance and religious coping were positively linked to COVID- 19 conspiracy beliefs. In Study 1, conspiracy beliefs also mediated the positive relationships between avoidance and religious coping and adherence to safety and self-isolation guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Study 2 additionally showed that the relationship between fear, induced by reading threatening news on COVID-19, and conspiracy beliefs was the strongest among those high in avoidance coping. These studies highlight the role of coping strategies in the adoption of COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/bjso.12684
Uncontrolled keywords: coping strategies; avoidance coping; religious coping; COVID-19; conspiracy beliefs
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Karen Douglas
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2023 09:35 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 15:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Green, Ricky.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:

Douglas, Karen.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.