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Open AccessArticle

Is Lockdown Bad for Social Anxiety in COVID-19 Regions?: A National Study in The SOR Perspective

by Lei Zheng 1,2,3, Miao Miao 4, JiYoon Lim 5, Maorui Li 1, Shu Nie 5 and Xiaojun Zhang 1,6,*
School of Economics and Management, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, China
Center for China Social Trust Research, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, China
Institute of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, China
School of Society, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing 102249, China
School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4561;
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 11 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 24 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Global Threat: Information or Panic)
Lockdown measures have been widely used to control and prevent virus transmission in pandemic regions. However, the psychological effects of lockdown measures have been neglected, and the related theoretical research lags behind the practice. The present study aimed to better understand the mechanism of social anxiety in pandemic regions where the lockdown measures were imposed, based on the conceptual framework of the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR). For that, this research investigated how lockdown measures and psychological distance influenced social anxiety in the pandemic region. The Chinese national data was analyzed for the outcome. The results showed that (1) psychological distance mediated the relationship between pandemic COVID-19 severity and social anxiety, (2) lockdown measures buffered the detrimental effect of the COVID-19 pandemic severity on social anxiety, (3) lockdown measures moderated the mediation effect of psychological distancing on social anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, under the SOR framework, the lockdown measures had a buffer effect on social anxiety in pandemic regions, with the mediating role of psychological distancing. View Full-Text
Keywords: lockdown measures; pandemic COVID-19; anxiety; SOR model lockdown measures; pandemic COVID-19; anxiety; SOR model
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Zheng, L.; Miao, M.; Lim, J.; Li, M.; Nie, S.; Zhang, X. Is Lockdown Bad for Social Anxiety in COVID-19 Regions?: A National Study in The SOR Perspective. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4561.

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