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Stories of Life during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Qualitative Study

1
Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, 35131 Padua, Italy
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
3
Department of Applied Psychology, Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Atte Oksanen and Raphael M. Herr
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147630
Received: 9 June 2021 / Revised: 5 July 2021 / Accepted: 14 July 2021 / Published: 18 July 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on people the need to find meaning in many unprecedented ways. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore how the general Italian population dealt with government restrictions and to understand personal experiences connected with the first wave of the pandemic in light of the personal construct theory (PCT) framework. One hundred and sixteen people (over 18 years old) completed an online survey between May and June 2020. Two independent researchers ran inductive thematic content analysis on data using a specifically developed international codebook. Five major themes were identified in the participants’ narrations: difficulties, emotions, coping with lockdown measures, going back to normal, and change. The results, interpreted within the PCT transitions, showed that the pandemic represented a threat to participants’ life plans, beliefs, and certainties. Some coped with it mainly by waiting for the pandemic to end and remaining firm in their beliefs and certainties, whereas others coped by trying to find alternative ways of giving sense to this experience and reconstructing personal meanings, claiming a change in their life and in society. Differentiating personal experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic is fundamental for designing personalised strategies to promote well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; health psychology; qualitative research; personal construct theory coronavirus; COVID-19; health psychology; qualitative research; personal construct theory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tomaino, S.C.M.; Cipolletta, S.; Kostova, Z.; Todorova, I. Stories of Life during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7630. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147630

AMA Style

Tomaino SCM, Cipolletta S, Kostova Z, Todorova I. Stories of Life during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7630. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147630

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tomaino, Silvia C.M., Sabrina Cipolletta, Zlatina Kostova, and Irina Todorova. 2021. "Stories of Life during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7630. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147630

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