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Article

Protective and Risk Factors for Mental Distress and Its Impact on Health-Protective Behaviors during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic between March 2020 and March 2021 in Germany

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Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR), 55131 Mainz, Germany
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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
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Department of Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55122 Mainz, Germany
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Department of Cardiology, Cardiology I, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
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Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany
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University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
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Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID), 54296 Trier, Germany
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Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioural Sciences, University of Erfurt, 99089 Erfurt, Germany
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Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179167
Received: 12 July 2021 / Revised: 13 August 2021 / Accepted: 26 August 2021 / Published: 31 August 2021
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is posing a global public health burden. These consequences have been shown to increase the risk of mental distress, but the underlying protective and risk factors for mental distress and trends over different waves of the pandemic are largely unknown. Furthermore, it is largely unknown how mental distress is associated with individual protective behavior. Three quota samples, weighted to represent the population forming the German COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring study (24 March and 26 May 2020, and 9 March 2021 with >900 subjects each), were used to describe the course of mental distress and resilience, to identify risk and protective factors during the pandemic, and to investigate their associations with individual protective behaviors. Mental distress increased slightly during the pandemic. Usage of cognitive reappraisal strategies, maintenance of a daily structure, and usage of alternative social interactions decreased. Self-reported resilience, cognitive reappraisal strategies, and maintaining a daily structure were the most important protective factors in all three samples. Adherence to individual protective behaviors (e.g., physical distancing) was negatively associated with mental distress and positively associated with frequency of information intake, maintenance of a daily structure, and cognitive reappraisal. Maintaining a daily structure, training of cognitive reappraisal strategies, and information provision may be targets to prevent mental distress while assuring a high degree of individual protective behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effects of the respective interventions have to be confirmed in further studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: resilience; protective factors; pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; mental distress; protective behavior resilience; protective factors; pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; mental distress; protective behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gilan, D.; Müssig, M.; Hahad, O.; Kunzler, A.M.; Samstag, S.; Röthke, N.; Thrul, J.; Kreuter, F.; Bosnjak, M.; Sprengholz, P.; Betsch, C.; Wollschläger, D.; Tüscher, O.; Lieb, K. Protective and Risk Factors for Mental Distress and Its Impact on Health-Protective Behaviors during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic between March 2020 and March 2021 in Germany. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179167

AMA Style

Gilan D, Müssig M, Hahad O, Kunzler AM, Samstag S, Röthke N, Thrul J, Kreuter F, Bosnjak M, Sprengholz P, Betsch C, Wollschläger D, Tüscher O, Lieb K. Protective and Risk Factors for Mental Distress and Its Impact on Health-Protective Behaviors during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic between March 2020 and March 2021 in Germany. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(17):9167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179167

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gilan, Donya, Markus Müssig, Omar Hahad, Angela M. Kunzler, Simon Samstag, Nikolaus Röthke, Johannes Thrul, Frauke Kreuter, Michael Bosnjak, Philipp Sprengholz, Cornelia Betsch, Daniel Wollschläger, Oliver Tüscher, and Klaus Lieb. 2021. "Protective and Risk Factors for Mental Distress and Its Impact on Health-Protective Behaviors during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic between March 2020 and March 2021 in Germany" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 17: 9167. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179167

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