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Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis

The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Department of Health Sciences, European University Cyprus, 1516 Nicosia, Cyprus
Psychological Laboratory, Faculty of Public Health and Social Welfare, Riga Stradiņš University, LV-1007 Riga, Latvia
Kore University Behavioral Lab (KUBeLab), Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Kore University of Enna, 94100 Enna, Italy
Department of Social Sciences, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Nicosia, 2417 Nicosia, Cyprus
Department of Nursing, Cyprus University of Technology, 3036 Limassol, Cyprus
Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, 1683 Nicosia, Cyprus
Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, Faculty of Education, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Gaziantep 27010, Turkey
Department of Psychology, Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz, Bogotà 110231, Colombia
Faculty of Psychology, University of La Sabana, Chía 53753, Colombia
School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, T12 YN60 Cork, Ireland
School of Psychology, University College Dublin, D04 V1W8 Dublin, Ireland
Department of Medical Psychology, Innsbruck Medical University, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Department of Psychology, Babeş-Bolyai University (UBB), 400095 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
ISPA—Instituto Universitário, APPsyCI—Applied Psychology Research Center Capabilities & Inclusion, 1149-041 Lisbon, Portugal
Faculdade de Psicologia, Alameda da Universidade, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-013 Lisbon, Portugal
LIP/PC2S Lab, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, 38040 Grenoble, France
Department of Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Public Health, University of Cadiz, 11003 Cadiz, Spain
Instituto ACT, 28036 Madrid, Spain
Department of Psychology, European University of Madrid, 28670 Madrid, Spain
Department of Psychology and Sociology, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Heim Pal National Pediatric Institute, Department of Mental Health, 1089 Budapest, Hungary
Bartosz Kleszcz Psychotherapy and Training, ul. Aleja Zwycięstwa 31/8, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, FI-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
Clinic for Psychiatry, Clinical Center of Montenegro, 81110 Podgorica, Montenegro
Department of Child, Adolescent and Developmental Neurology, University Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Département de Psychologie, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7, Canada
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Division of Clinical Psychology and Intervention Science, University of Basel, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus
Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrea Fiorillo and Maurizio Pompili
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4143;
Received: 23 March 2021 / Revised: 5 April 2021 / Accepted: 8 April 2021 / Published: 14 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)
This study aimed to compare the mediation of psychological flexibility, prosociality and coping in the impacts of illness perceptions toward COVID-19 on mental health among seven regions. Convenience sampled online survey was conducted between April and June 2020 from 9130 citizens in 21 countries. Illness perceptions toward COVID-19, psychological flexibility, prosociality, coping and mental health, socio-demographics, lockdown-related variables and COVID-19 status were assessed. Results showed that psychological flexibility was the only significant mediator in the relationship between illness perceptions toward COVID-19 and mental health across all regions (all ps = 0.001–0.021). Seeking social support was the significant mediator across subgroups (all ps range = <0.001–0.005) except from the Hong Kong sample (p = 0.06) and the North and South American sample (p = 0.53). No mediation was found for problem-solving (except from the Northern European sample, p = 0.009). Prosociality was the significant mediator in the Hong Kong sample (p = 0.016) and the Eastern European sample (p = 0.008). These findings indicate that fostering psychological flexibility may help to mitigate the adverse mental impacts of COVID-19 across regions. Roles of seeking social support, problem-solving and prosociality vary across regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; psychological flexibility; mental health; prosociality; survey COVID-19; psychological flexibility; mental health; prosociality; survey
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chong, Y.Y.; Chien, W.T.; Cheng, H.Y.; Lamnisos, D.; Ļubenko, J.; Presti, G.; Squatrito, V.; Constantinou, M.; Nicolaou, C.; Papacostas, S.; Aydin, G.; Ruiz, F.J.; Garcia-Martin, M.B.; Obando-Posada, D.P.; Segura-Vargas, M.A.; Vasiliou, V.S.; McHugh, L.; Höfer, S.; Baban, A.; Neto, D.D.; Silva, A.N.d.; Monestès, J.-L.; Alvarez-Galvez, J.; Blarrina, M.P.; Montesinos, F.; Salas, S.V.; Őri, D.; Kleszcz, B.; Lappalainen, R.; Ivanović, I.; Gosar, D.; Dionne, F.; Merwin, R.M.; Gloster, A.T.; Karekla, M.; Kassianos, A.P. Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4143.

AMA Style

Chong YY, Chien WT, Cheng HY, Lamnisos D, Ļubenko J, Presti G, Squatrito V, Constantinou M, Nicolaou C, Papacostas S, Aydin G, Ruiz FJ, Garcia-Martin MB, Obando-Posada DP, Segura-Vargas MA, Vasiliou VS, McHugh L, Höfer S, Baban A, Neto DD, Silva ANd, Monestès J-L, Alvarez-Galvez J, Blarrina MP, Montesinos F, Salas SV, Őri D, Kleszcz B, Lappalainen R, Ivanović I, Gosar D, Dionne F, Merwin RM, Gloster AT, Karekla M, Kassianos AP. Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4143.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chong, Yuen Yu, Wai Tong Chien, Ho Yu Cheng, Demetris Lamnisos, Jeļena Ļubenko, Giovambattista Presti, Valeria Squatrito, Marios Constantinou, Christiana Nicolaou, Savvas Papacostas, Gökçen Aydin, Francisco J. Ruiz, Maria B. Garcia-Martin, Diana P. Obando-Posada, Miguel A. Segura-Vargas, Vasilis S. Vasiliou, Louise McHugh, Stefan Höfer, Adriana Baban, David Dias Neto, Ana Nunes da Silva, Jean-Louis Monestès, Javier Alvarez-Galvez, Marisa Paez Blarrina, Francisco Montesinos, Sonsoles Valdivia Salas, Dorottya Őri, Bartosz Kleszcz, Raimo Lappalainen, Iva Ivanović, David Gosar, Frederick Dionne, Rhonda M. Merwin, Andrew T. Gloster, Maria Karekla, and Angelos P. Kassianos. 2021. "Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 4143.

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