Patterns of psychological responses among the public during the early phase of covid-19: A cross-regional analysis

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Chong, Y. Y.
Chien, W. T.
Cheng, H. Y.
Lamnisos, D.
Lubenko, J.
Presti, G.
Squatrito, V.
Constantinou, M.
Nicolaou, C.
Papacosta, S.
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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.
COVID-19 , Mental health , Prosociality , Psychological flexibility , Survey
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. and Kassianos, A. P. (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(8), 4143 (19 pp). doi: 10.3390/ijerph18084143
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