COVID-19 distress and worries: The role of attitudes, social support, and positive coping during social isolation

Moore, Kathleen A. and Lucas, James J. 2020, COVID-19 distress and worries: The role of attitudes, social support, and positive coping during social isolation, Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1111/papt.12308.

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Title COVID-19 distress and worries: The role of attitudes, social support, and positive coping during social isolation
Author(s) Moore, Kathleen A.
Lucas, James J.ORCID iD for Lucas, James J.
Journal name Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ
Publication date 2020-09-26
ISSN 1476-0835
Keyword(s) attitude
psychological distress
social support
Social Sciences
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Psychology, Clinical
Summary As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, one public health response has been for governments to impose quarantine ‘lockdowns’ which require people to socially isolate. In this study, we explored the level of psychological distress that people experienced in social isolation and the factors which might ameliorate or exacerbate it. Two hundred and thirteen participants (69% female) with a mean age of 37.82 years participated in an online study. They completed a series of questions designed as part of a larger cross-national study. A positive attitude towards social isolation introduced by government as a strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 was predictive of positive coping strategies, and both attitude and coping predicted reduced psychological distress. Participants’ worries about contagion of COVID-19, their financial status, and the economic and political impact of the COVID-19 pandemic predicted increases in their psychological distress. Social support from family and work colleagues was not significant in reducing worries or psychological distress but it did positively predict engagement in coping. The findings and recommendations are discussed. Practitioner points: Fostering a positive attitude towards social isolation in clients: reduces psychological distress, fosters engagement in positive coping behaviours. Enhancing clients’ level of social support received will serve to increase positive coping and indirectly reduce psychological distress during social isolation. Strategies to reduce clients’ COVID-19 worries are important as worry contributes to their overall level of psychological distress.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/papt.12308
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2020, The British Psychological Society
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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