Stress and coping strategies in people with ASDs during the Covid-19 pandemic: A study report
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Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
University of Silesia
State Higher Vocational School in Racibór
Submission date: 2023-03-19
Final revision date: 2023-06-27
Acceptance date: 2023-06-28
Publication date: 2023-07-29
Corresponding author
Agnieszka Hamerlińska   

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
JoMS 2023;51(2):571-587
Studying people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in terms of their functioning during the Covid-19 pandemic poses a significant challenge. Given the specificity of the condition (difficulty in initiating and maintaining interpersonal relationships) and related inclusion strategies, the functioning of individuals with ASDs within a dynamically evolving social reality has come to the fore as an important issue. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic most relationships – including those which are supportive and therapeutic – are now largely ‘intermediated’.

Material and methods:
Methods: The survey research was conducted among people with the autism spectrum using questionnaires to study stress (PSS-10) and strategies for coping with stress (CISS).

The conducted research showed that: 1. People with ASD during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced increased levels of perceived stress. 2. People with ASD used various strategies of coping with stress in the social, emotional and behavioral aspect 3. In people with ASD, the emotional-focused style of coping with stress was dominant. 4. Avoidance was the least frequently used stress coping strategy.

The prevalence of the emotion-oriented strategy of coping with stress means that in stressful situations during the pandemic people with ASDs have tended to focus on themselves and their own emotional experiences. The task-oriented strategy, i.e. taking action, has been used less frequently. Coping with stress, the study participants were not inclined to engage in alternative activities during the earlier stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Internal grant CRUSH from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
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