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Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 11298

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, Department of Behavioural Science and Health, University College London, London WC1E 7HB, UK
Interests: COVID-19; addiction; health behaviours; smoking; e-cigarettes

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Guest Editor
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
Interests: human-animal interaction; mental health; dementia; addictions research
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The fast and uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, has led to the infection of millions of people worldwide and a death toll in excess of 6.0 million. COVID-19 has also been linked with significant negative effects on the mental health of the population. Stressors such as the loss of family and friends, suffering from the disease, the imposition of restrictive measures, the threat of job losses and business failure, contact exposure to information on the pandemic and many more have been linked to COVID-19 pandemic. All these stressors cause great psychological distress in the population, and feelings of insecurity, fear, frustration, boredom, loneliness and stigma have become common as a result of the situation, as have certain mental health problems that may have been caused by or aggravated by these states, such as anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and disorders resulting from substance abuse. In response to these stressors and mental health problems, many people adopted adaptive as well as maladaptive coping strategies. Though the extent of the psychological effects on the population from COVID-19 pandemic and coping strategies used are still not fully known.

The IJEPHR invites submissions to this Special Issue focused on research investigating psychological distress and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an imperative importance to assess the results of studies conducted in different countries and during different stages of COVID-19 pandemic to collate the most prominent manifestation of psychological distress and coping responses. A deeper understanding of the mental health consequences of COVID-19 on the population as well as the coping mechanism adopted by the population will enable the development and implementation of more effective interventions for the future. Contributions may be quantitative, qualitative or opinion pieces.

We very much look forward to receiving your submissions.

Dr. Dimitra Kale
Dr. Emily Shoesmith
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • lockdown
  • pandemic
  • psychological distress
  • coping
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental health
  • subjective well-being
  • quantitative
  • qualitative
  • longitudinal
  • cross-sectional

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
COVID-19-Related Racial Discrimination during Lockdown and Its Impact on Asian American Women
by Mina Lee, In Young Park, Michael Park, Phuong Khanh Tran, Yvette C. Cozier and Hyeouk Chris Hahm
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(16), 6546; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20166546 - 8 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1731
Abstract
During the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American (AA) women have experienced a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and racial discrimination, and a majority of studies have quantitatively shown the negative impact of these incidents on Asian Americans’ well-being. Our research [...] Read more.
During the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American (AA) women have experienced a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and racial discrimination, and a majority of studies have quantitatively shown the negative impact of these incidents on Asian Americans’ well-being. Our research expands on the existing literature by qualitatively investigating types of COVID-19-related racial discrimination during lockdown and its impacts on changes in emotions, behaviors, well-being, and racial identity development among AA women. This study covered two timepoints (December 2019 to May 2020) and the data were collected using an open-ended survey with 40 AA women. Thematic analysis identified core themes related to types of racial discrimination, emotional and behavioral changes, and racial identity status that emerged due to COVID-19-related racial discrimination experiences. The findings shed light on the long-lasting impacts of racial discrimination on AA women’s overall well-being and dynamic development of racial identity. Altogether, our findings underscore the need for systematic forms of advocacy to combat anti-Asian racism and call for solidarity for AA women’s well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
14 pages, 980 KiB  
Article
The Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Social Connectedness and Psychological Distress in U.S. Adults with Chronic Diseases
by Ben King, Omolola E. Adepoju, LeChauncy Woodard, Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Xiaotao Zhang, Christopher I. Amos and Hoda Badr
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(13), 6218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20136218 - 24 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Lockdown measures enacted in 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 led to increases in the prevalence of mental health problems. Due to their high-risk status, individuals with chronic diseases may be at increased risk and disproportionately adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] Read more.
Lockdown measures enacted in 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 led to increases in the prevalence of mental health problems. Due to their high-risk status, individuals with chronic diseases may be at increased risk and disproportionately adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigators examined associations between having a high-risk chronic condition, social connectedness, and general distress and COVID-19-specific distress among U.S. adults during the COVID-19 lockdown. Baseline measures of a longitudinal survey collected at the beginning of the pandemic (April to June 2020) were analyzed to identify factors associated with loss of social connectedness from pre- to post-lockdown. The associations between social connectedness and both general and COVID-19-specific psychological distress were adjusted for certain high-risk chronic illnesses and interaction effects. The sample available for analysis included 1354 subjects (262 high-risk chronic diseases and 1092 without chronic illness). Those reporting the loss of social connectedness were younger (median = 39 vs. 42) and more likely to be unemployed because of the pandemic (19.4% vs. 11.0%). Adjustment for interaction demonstrated a stronger negative association between social connectedness change and the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 for those with high-risk illness(es) (change in connectedness*chronic illness OR = 0.88, 95%CI: 0.79–0.98, p = 0.020). These findings inform our understanding of the distribution and intersection of responses to public health lockdown orders in the U.S. and build further evidence of the importance of social connectedness on psychological distress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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14 pages, 996 KiB  
Article
Pre- and Post-Pandemic Religiosity and Mental Health Outcomes: A Prospective Study
by Connie Svob, Eleanor Murphy, Priya J. Wickramaratne, Marc J. Gameroff, Ardesheer Talati, Milenna T. van Dijk, Tenzin Yangchen and Myrna M. Weissman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(11), 6002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20116002 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Relatively few studies have prospectively examined the effects of known protective factors, such as religion, on pandemic-related outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the pre- and post-pandemic trajectories and psychological effects of religious beliefs and religious attendance. Male and female [...] Read more.
Relatively few studies have prospectively examined the effects of known protective factors, such as religion, on pandemic-related outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the pre- and post-pandemic trajectories and psychological effects of religious beliefs and religious attendance. Male and female adults (N = 189) reported their beliefs in religious importance (RI) and their religious attendance (RA) both before (T1) and after (T2) the pandemic’s onset. Descriptive and regression analyses were used to track RI and RA from T1 to T2 and to test their effects on psychological outcomes at T1 and T2. The participants who reported a decrease in religious importance and attendance were greater in number than those who reported an increase, with RI (36.5% vs. 5.3%) and RA (34.4% vs. 4.8%). The individuals with decreased RI were less likely to know someone who had died from COVID-19 (O.R. =0.4, p = 0.027). The T1 RI predicted overall social adjustment (p < 0.05) and lower suicidal ideation (p = 0.05). The T2 RI was associated with lower suicidal ideation (p < 0.05). The online RA (T2) was associated with lower depression (p < 0.05) and lower anxiety (p < 0.05). Further research is needed to evaluate the mechanisms driving decreases in religiosity during pandemics. Religious beliefs and online religious attendance were beneficial during the pandemic, which bodes well for the use of telemedicine in therapeutic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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19 pages, 1049 KiB  
Article
Eudaimonic Well-Being of Italian Young Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Predictive and Mediating Roles of Fear of Death and Psychological Inflexibility
by Vincenzo Calvo, Chiara Masaro, Chiara Fusco, Camilla Pellicelli, Simona Ghedin and Cristina Marogna
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(11), 5960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20115960 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1796
Abstract
The literature has widely acknowledged the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young adults. Despite extensive research, eudaimonic well-being, which focuses on self-knowledge and self-realization, has been scarcely investigated. This cross-sectional study aimed to add knowledge on the eudaimonic [...] Read more.
The literature has widely acknowledged the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young adults. Despite extensive research, eudaimonic well-being, which focuses on self-knowledge and self-realization, has been scarcely investigated. This cross-sectional study aimed to add knowledge on the eudaimonic well-being of young adults one year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, verifying its potential linkages with fear of death and psychological inflexibility. A total of 317 young Italian adults (18–34 years), recruited through a chain sampling method, completed measures of psychological inflexibility, fear of death, and eudaimonic well-being included in an online survey. The study’s hypotheses were tested with multivariate multiple regression and mediational analyses. Results showed that psychological inflexibility was negatively associated with all the dimensions of well-being, while fear of the death of others was associated with autonomy, environmental mastery, and self-acceptance. Furthermore, in the association between fear of death and well-being, the mediation role of psychological inflexibility was verified. These results contribute to the extant literature on the factors associated with eudaimonic well-being, providing clinical insights into the work with young adults within challenging times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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13 pages, 1354 KiB  
Article
We Are Not Islands: The Role of Social Support in the Relationship between Perceived Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Psychological Distress
by Anita Padmanabhanunni, Tyrone B. Pretorius and Serena Ann Isaacs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043179 - 11 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1932
Abstract
COVID-19 containment measures, including social distancing, quarantine, and confinement, significantly impacted social connectedness and contributed to heightened levels of perceived stress. Prior research has established that protective factors can mitigate emotional distress. This study investigated the protective role of social support in the [...] Read more.
COVID-19 containment measures, including social distancing, quarantine, and confinement, significantly impacted social connectedness and contributed to heightened levels of perceived stress. Prior research has established that protective factors can mitigate emotional distress. This study investigated the protective role of social support in the relationship between perceived stress and psychological distress among a sample of university students. Participants (n = 322) completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Perceived Stress Scale, short forms of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, the trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Beck Hopelessness Scale. The results indicated that high levels of perceived stress were associated with high levels of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety. In terms of direct and mediating effects, social support was significant for depression and hopelessness but not for anxiety. Furthermore, the relationship between perceived stress and depression was higher for those with high levels of social support than for those with lower levels of social support. The findings suggest that in addition to enhancing social support resources, interventions must assist students in managing the uncertainty and anxiety associated with the pandemic. Furthermore, students’ appraisals of support and the extent to which support is experienced as beneficial must also be examined prior to the implementation of interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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11 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Intolerance of Uncertainty and Problematic Social Media Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Serial Mediation Model
by Chaoran Sun, Yumei Li, Sylvia Y. C. L. Kwok and Wenlong Mu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214924 - 13 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2054
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant interruptions to life certainty, and there has been a lack of research on the influence of uncertainty. The present research aimed to explore how intolerance of uncertainty, maladaptive coping strategies, and fear of missing out affect social [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant interruptions to life certainty, and there has been a lack of research on the influence of uncertainty. The present research aimed to explore how intolerance of uncertainty, maladaptive coping strategies, and fear of missing out affect social media use in a Chinese community sample (N = 311) during the pandemic. Serial mediation analysis was applied, integrating the mediating role of maladaptive coping strategy and fear of missing out. Intolerance of uncertainty, maladaptive coping strategies, and fear of missing out was positively related to PSMU. Based on the mediation analysis, when age and gender were controlled, the direct effect of intolerance of uncertainty on PSMU was significant. The total indirect effect was also significant. The effect of intolerance of uncertainty on PSMU was mediated by maladaptive coping strategies and fear of missing out. Taken together, maladaptive coping strategies and fear of missing out played a serial mediating role between intolerance of uncertainty and PSMU. The findings imply that strategies to improve the tolerance of uncertainty, reduce fear of missing out, and relevant coping strategies could be potentially helpful in mitigating problematic social media use, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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