Coping with COVID-19 in Lebanon: a social psychological perspective

Rusi Jaspal, Moubadda Assi, Ismael Maatouk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses upon the mental health burden of COVID-19 and coping strategies used in Lebanon, a society grappling with severe economic and political challenges. First, a brief overview of Lebanon, focusing on its history, politics, and society, is provided and the emergence of COVID-19 in the country is described. Second, a broad social psychological theoretical framework outlining multiple levels of human functioning and analysis is offered as a heuristic lens for understanding and predicting how people respond to COVID-19, its associated stressors (e.g., uncertainty, economic disruption), and its management (e.g., physical distancing, lockdowns, vaccination). Third, we summarize empirical research into the social and psychological aspects of COVID-19, focusing on the risk factors for poor mental health (including depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal ideation) and the possible coping strategies used. We also examine the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on marginalized minorities in Lebanon, including refugees and nonheterosexual people. We argue that strategies to reduce the mental health burden and to promote effective coping should incorporate institutional, social, and psychological levels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19: Surviving a Pandemic
EditorsJ. Michael Ryan
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003302698
ISBN (Print)9781032299167, 9781032299174
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022


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