To investigate the association between life-style and socioeconomic factors and coping strategies in a community sample in Iran.
As part of a community-based study called Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, we studied 17 593 individuals older than 19 living in the central part of Iran. Demographic and socioeconomic factors (age, sex, occupation status, marital status, and educational level) and lifestyle variables (smoking status, leisure time physical activity, and psychological distress), and coping strategy were recorded. Data were analyzed by Pearson correlation and multiple linear regression.
Not smoking (women β = -11.293, P < 0.001; men β = -3.418, P = 0.007), having leisure time physical activity (women β = 0.017, P = 0.046; men β = 0.005, P = 0.043), and higher educational level (women β = 0.344, P = 0.015; men β = 0.406, P = 0.008) were predictors of adaptive coping strategies, while smoking (women β = 11.849, P < 0.001; men β = 9.336, P < 0.001), high stress level (women β = 1.588, P = 0.000; men β = 1.358, P < 0.001), and lower educational level (women β = -0.443, P = 0.013; men β = -0.427, P = 0.013) were predictors of maladaptive coping strategies in both sexes. Non-manual work was a positive predictor of adaptive (β = 4.983, P < 0.001) and negative predictor of maladaptive (β = -3.355, P = 0.023) coping skills in men.
Coping strategies of the population in central Iran were highly influenced by socioeconomic status and life-style factors. Programs aimed at improving healthy life-styles and increasing the socioeconomic status could increase adaptive coping skills and decrease maladaptive ones and consequently lead to a more healthy society.