Coping and social support as moderators: Relationship between financial threat and negative psychological outcomes

  • João Nuno Ribeiro ViseuEmail author
  • Saul Neves de Jesus
  • Ana Rita Cavaco Leal
  • Patrícia Susana Lopes Guerrilha dos Santos Pinto
  • Lara Ayala-Nunes
  • Rafaela Dias Matavelli


Between 2011 and 2014 Portugal faced an economic crisis. During a crisis, individuals develop threat perceptions regarding their financial situation. When individuals perceive that their financial situation worsens, negative psychological outcomes emerge. The present study assessed the relationship between financial threat and three negative psychological outcomes (stress, anxiety, and depression), and tested the moderating role of proactive coping and social support, individually and combined, on this relationship. The moderating role of sociodemographic variables (age, gender, marital status, and professional situation) was also considered. A sample of 729 participants, 33.9% males and 66.1% females, was collected online between March–June 2013. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the obtained data. Financial threat was positively and significantly associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. Proactive coping moderated the relationship between financial threat and depression. Social support, individually and combined with proactive coping, did not moderate the relationship between financial threat and any of the negative psychological outcomes. Age moderated the relationship between financial threat and stress. The main implications of this study are presented, as well as its limitations and suggestions for future works.


Cross-sectional study Financial threat Negative psychological outcomes Proactive coping Social support 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

All authors declares that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Nuno Ribeiro Viseu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saul Neves de Jesus
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Rita Cavaco Leal
    • 1
  • Patrícia Susana Lopes Guerrilha dos Santos Pinto
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lara Ayala-Nunes
    • 1
  • Rafaela Dias Matavelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational DynamicsUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Human and Social SciencesUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal
  3. 3.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal

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