Panic buying in the community as a coping strategy in response to COVID-19

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2021. Panic buying in the community as a coping strategy in response to COVID-19. Health Psychology Update, 30 (2), pp. 3-10. ISSN 0954-2027

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Panic buying was widespread during the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere. Drawing on identity process theory, this study explores the psychological motivations for engaging in panic buying behaviors in response to the COVID19 outbreak in London, United Kingdom. Fifteen people participated in an interview study concerning the impact of the outbreak on their buying behaviors. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The analysis yielded three themes: (1) COVID-19 as a threat to continuity and self-efficacy; (2) Buying to resist change; and (3) Buying to restore self-efficacy. The results suggest that COVID-19 and the measures put in place to control it may have potentially deleterious effects for the continuity and self-efficacy principles of identity, which in turn may lead to the maladaptive coping strategy of panic buying. In order to manage the pandemic effectively, it will be necessary to promote more adaptive and sustainable coping strategies to reduce the risk of engagement in panic buying. More specifically, building identity resilience and facilitating access to social support should be important foci for health and wellbeing interventions in the general population.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Health Psychology Update
Creators: Jaspal, R.
Publisher: British Psychological Society
Date: 30 September 2021
Volume: 30
Number: 2
ISSN: 0954-2027
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 16 Apr 2021 15:42
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 12:29

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