Gender differences in the coping mechanisms to disruptions brought by COVID-19 pandemic among working adults in the Rural Philippines: The Case of Visayas State University

Moises Neil V. Seriño, Therese C. Ratilla, Maria Aurora Teresita W. Tabada, Ma. Salome B. Bulayog, Nilda T. Amestoso, Venice B. Ibañez, Angelita Paradero, Michael P. Mazo, Vergie Ann E. Galenzoga, Chariss C. Verdida, Reyvin N. Sabanal and Michael R. Calungsod


The various social restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus have brought unprecedented disruptions in people’s lifestyle. The academic institutions were caught unprepared and had to adjust abruptly. With this, we assessed how working adults in a state university in rural Philippines are coping with the disruptions brought by the pandemic. We conducted a cross-sectional online survey on May 18 to 23, 2020 where 133 working adults from the Visayas State University, Leyte, Philippines responded to the survey. Results show that the top most rank coping mechanism for both men and women is doing household chores. Results further suggest that men are more inclined to surfing the net and use social media while women focus more on praying and gardening. Pets are considered as an important companion to cope better with the pandemic. Our results highlight differences in coping mechanisms between working men and women in dealing with the pandemic. Empirical findings suggest that working adults with diversified activities and engaged more in physical activities such as household chores and gardening tend to cope better during lockdowns. In addition, income and access to internet are significant determinants of coping mechanisms. Policy makers and administrators in state university in Philippines may benefit from understanding gender differences in coping with the pandemic and can tailor approaches that may contribute to wellbeing issues among working adults.

Keywords: multiple coping strategies, gender disaggregation, well-being, pandemic, rural Philippines, state university employees

Annals of Tropical Research 43(2):120-133(2021)
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