Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis
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Author/sChong, Yuen Yu; Chien, Wai Tong; Cheng, Ho Yu; Lamnisos, Demetris; Lubenko, Jelena; Presti, Giovambattista; Squatrito, Valeria; Constantinou, Marios; Nicolaou, Christiana; Papacostas, Savvas; Aydin, Gökçen; Ruiz, Francisco J.; Garcia-Martin, Maria B.; Obando-Posada, Diana P.; Segura-Vargas, Miguel A.; Vasiliou, Vasilis S; McHugh, Louise; Höfer, Stefan; Baban, Adriana; Dias Neto, David; Nunes da Silva, Ana; Monestès, Jean-Louis; Álvarez Gálvez, Javier; Paez Blarrina, Marisa; Montesinos, Francisco; Valdivia Salas, Sonsoles; Óri, Dorottya; Kleszcz, Bartosz; Lappalainen, Raimo; Ivanovic, Iva; Gosar, David; Dionne, Frederick; Merwin, Rhonda M.; Gloster, Andrew T.; Karekla, Maria; Kassianos, Angelos P.
DepartmentBiomedicina, Biotecnología y Salud Pública
SourceInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4143
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.