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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.13 No.2 pp.41-65

The Constructs of the Lazarus and Folkman’s Stress-Appraisal-Coping Theory as Predictors of Subjective Well-Being in College Students During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Jia Rung Wu1, Kanako Iwanaga2, Fong Chan3, Wu Hu4, Kaiqi Zhou5, Xiangli Chen6, Chetwyn C. H. Chan7, Timothy N. Tansey8
1Northeastern Illinois University
2Virginia Commonwealth University
3University of Wisconsin-Madison
4Southwestern University of Finance and Economics
5University of North Texas
6Kessler Foundation and Rutgers University
7The Education University of Hong Kong
8University of Wisconsin-Madison
Corresponding Author
Jia Rung Wu, 5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625, USA.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant adverse effects on the mental health of college students around the world. The purpose of the present study was to examine the constructs of Lazarus and Folkman’s stress-appraisal-coping theory as predictors of subjective well-being in Chinese college students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included 244 Chinese college students. The final hierarchical regression model accounted for 71% of the variance in subjective well-being scores, a large effect size. In the final model, positive stress appraisal, hope, core self-evaluations and resilience remain significant after controlling for other variables. Coping flexibility were significant at the zero-order correlation level and at the step, it was entered into the equation. The effect of perceived stress dissipated in the presence of the positive person-environment contextual variables. Findings provide strong empirical support for the use of positive person-environment contextual variables as a stress management and subjective well-being model for college students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings can be used to guide counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists in college health services in the selection of brief screening psychological instruments and empirically supported psychosocial and counseling interventions to help college students develop character strengths, positive attitudes, and coping skills to effectively cope with COVID-related challenges and stressors and possible future outbreaks of novel contagious diseases and crisis situations.