Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?

A special issue of European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education (ISSN 2254-9625).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 44802

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: psychology; public health; clinical psychology; biopsychology; palliative psychology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Croatian Studies, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: clinical psychology and neuroscience; cognitive psychology; biopsychology; neuropsychology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since its outbreak in December of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. Fear of infection combined with various epidemiological measures has affected our everyday functioning. Increased levels of fear, worry, stress and anxiety are expected during situations like these in which our lives are significantly changed and threatened. Due to this sudden change, there is an increased need for psychological services. However, in current times and the modern world we are living in, mental health professionals are faced with a wide spectrum of mental health challenges that are not necessarily related just to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hence, the adaptation of proper clinical psychodiagnostic and assessment tools is required.

This Special Issue calls for the submission of manuscripts related to the status of mental health in the modern world, and different factors (emotional, social, cognitive and physiological) associated with psychological well-being.

Dr. Lovorka Brajković
Dr. Vanja Kopilaš
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education 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 1400 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

  • mental health
  • clinical psychology
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • trauma
  • resilience
  • quality of life
  • modern world
  • COVID-19

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 5009 KiB  
Article
Trends in Suicidal Mortality and Motives among Working-Ages Individuals in Japan during 2007–2022
by Ryusuke Matsumoto, Eishi Motomura, Toshiaki Onitsuka and Motohiro Okada
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(12), 2795-2810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13120193 - 27 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1054
Abstract
Suicides in Japan consistently decreased from 2009–2019, but increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. To identify causes of increasing suicides, age-dependent and temporal fluctuations of suicide mortality rate per 100,000 (SMRP) in working-age generations (20–59 years) disaggregated by suicidal motives (7-categories; 52-subcategories) and sex [...] Read more.
Suicides in Japan consistently decreased from 2009–2019, but increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. To identify causes of increasing suicides, age-dependent and temporal fluctuations of suicide mortality rate per 100,000 (SMRP) in working-age generations (20–59 years) disaggregated by suicidal motives (7-categories; 52-subcategories) and sex from 2007 to 2022, were analyzed by analysis of variance and joinpoint regression, respectively, using the government suicide database “Suicide Statistics”. The SMRP of 20–29 year-old males and 20–49 year-old females began to increase in the late 2010s. SMRPs of these high-risk groups for suicides caused by depression (the leading suicidal motive for all groups) began increasing in the late 2010s. Economic-related, employment-related, and romance-related problems contributed to the increasing SMRPs in 20–29 males in the late 2010s. Romance-related and family-related problems contributed to the increasing SMRPs of 20–29 females in the late 2010s. Increasing SMRPs caused by child-raising stress in 20–39 year-old females from the late 2010s was a remarkable finding. In contrast, SMRPs of 30–59 year-old males consistently decreased until 2021; however, in these groups, SMRPs for suicides caused by various motives sharply increased in 2022. The consistent increase in SMRPs of high-risk groups from the late 2010s to the pandemic suggest recent socioeconomic and psychosocial problems in Japan possibly contributed to the increasing SMRPs in these high-risk groups independently of pandemic-associated factors, whereas the SMRPs of males of 30–59 years were probably associated with the ending of the pandemic rather than pandemic-associated factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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16 pages, 648 KiB  
Article
The Evolution of Psychological Distress Levels in University Students in Spain during Different Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Risk and Protective Factors
by María Pilar Matud, Jesús Zueco, Maria José Del Pino-Espejo, Demelsa Fortes, María Ángeles Beleña, Cristina Santos and Amelia Díaz
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(11), 2583-2598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13110180 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 933
Abstract
The present study assesses the evolution of stressful events and psychological distress in male and female students over three different time periods of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain: the initial “lockdown”, with no face-to-face teaching; the “new normality” period, when classes were resumed; [...] Read more.
The present study assesses the evolution of stressful events and psychological distress in male and female students over three different time periods of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain: the initial “lockdown”, with no face-to-face teaching; the “new normality” period, when classes were resumed; and two years after the first wave of the pandemic. The participants were 1200 Spanish university students who were assessed for psychological distress, COVID-19-associated stressful events, social support, and self-esteem. Female students reported more stressful events and higher levels of psychological distress than male students during the “lockdown” and “new normality” time periods of the first wave of the pandemic. However, these differences disappeared in the third period tested, two years after the first wave of the pandemic, with female and male students showing no differences in psychological distress or in the number of stressful events. The main risk predictors of psychological distress during the first wave of the pandemic were lower self-esteem and having suffered a high number of stressful events. The last variable, number of stressful events associated with COVID-19, lost most its effect two years later, when only self-esteem presented a strong and highly significant predictive role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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15 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
Assessment and Psychometric Properties of the 21-Item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) among Portuguese Higher Education Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Carlos Laranjeira, Ana Querido, Pedro Sousa and Maria Anjos Dixe
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(11), 2546-2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13110177 - 06 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1747
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial disruptions in the lives of higher education students, with detrimental repercussions for academic performance and overall mental health. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms among Portuguese higher education students during [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused substantial disruptions in the lives of higher education students, with detrimental repercussions for academic performance and overall mental health. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms among Portuguese higher education students during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic and investigate DASS-21’s psychometric characteristics and whether it functions effectively during a pandemic. A convenience sampling procedure was used to recruit 1522 participants (75.1% women and 79.2% undergraduate students) for this cross-sectional research. Participants completed an e-survey created using DASS-21. The results revealed a considerable prevalence of symptoms of depression [≥10] (N = 434, 28.5%), anxiety [≥7] (N = 551, 36.2%), and stress [≥11] (N = 544, 35.7%). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed the scale’s three-factor structure, which matched the three DASS-21 subscales. Subsequently, the heterotrait–monotrait (HTMT) correlation ratio evaluated the scale’s discriminant validity, which was relatively good. Cronbach’s alpha measured the internal consistency of the DASS subscales, which was excellent (Cronbach’s α > 0.90). DASS-21 was shown to be a reliable and appropriate measure for assessing students’ mental health. Furthermore, DASS-21 is recommended for use by academics and healthcare professionals in measuring students’ psychological distress. Further validation studies of this scale are needed with larger and more representative samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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18 pages, 670 KiB  
Article
The 5Cs of Positive Youth Development and Risk Behaviors in a Sample of Spanish Emerging Adults: A Partial Mediation Analysis of Gender Differences
by Diego Gomez-Baya, Antonio David Martin-Barrado, Maria Muñoz-Parralo, Myunghoon Roh, Francisco Jose Garcia-Moro and Ramon Mendoza-Berjano
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(11), 2410-2427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13110170 - 01 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Positive Youth Development (PYD) emerged as a holistic and strength-based perspective that focuses on the fact that young people may have the internal and external resources for healthy and successful development through five dimensions (5Cs) that empower them: Perceived Competence, Confidence, Character, Connection, [...] Read more.
Positive Youth Development (PYD) emerged as a holistic and strength-based perspective that focuses on the fact that young people may have the internal and external resources for healthy and successful development through five dimensions (5Cs) that empower them: Perceived Competence, Confidence, Character, Connection, and Caring. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the overall PYD factor, the 5Cs, and risk behaviors, in addition to analyzing gender differences. This study showed the results of a cross-sectional study of 1044 emerging adults from 11 Spanish universities in 2021. Data collection was performed by applying an online self-report measure. The results showed that the Character was protective against substance abuse, mainly in women, while the connection was related to the participation of betting money and online betting in men. Caring was protective against money bets in the men’s sample. However, controversial results were found regarding Perceived competence, which had a positive association with substance abuse, money bets, and drunk driving. It seems that high levels of Perceived competence, rather than objective competence, were associated with engagement in various risk behaviors. Concerning gender differences, men showed more risky behaviors than women. A partial mediation model pointed out that lower character and higher perceived competence in men partly explained the higher presence of risky behavior compared to women. These results underline the need to promote PYD within the university context to prevent risky behaviors by addressing gender differences and the separate role of the 5Cs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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11 pages, 729 KiB  
Article
Fear of COVID-19, Perceived Stress, and PTSD: The Serial Mediating Role of Sense of Coherence
by Anita Padmanabhanunni and Tyrone Brian Pretorius
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(11), 2399-2409; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13110169 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 797
Abstract
The literature has identified that a sense of coherence plays a protective role in the relationship between adverse events and mental health. The current study examines the role of a sense of coherence (SOC) in the relationship between fear of COVID-19, perceived stress, [...] Read more.
The literature has identified that a sense of coherence plays a protective role in the relationship between adverse events and mental health. The current study examines the role of a sense of coherence (SOC) in the relationship between fear of COVID-19, perceived stress, and dimensions of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants (n = 322) were students at a metropolitan university in South Africa who completed the Fear of COVID-19 Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, the 13-item Sense of Coherence Scale, and the PTSD Checklist. Path analysis was used to conduct a serial mediation analysis. The results show that SOC mediates the relationship between perceived stress and the dimensions of PTSD but does not mediate the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and PTSD. Furthermore, the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and dimensions of PTSD was mediated by serial perceived stress and sense of coherence, supporting the hypothesis that higher levels of fear of COVID-19 leads to higher levels of perceived stress. However, while high levels of fear of COVID-19 increase perceived stress, SOC significantly mediates the subsequent impact on PTSD symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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12 pages, 549 KiB  
Article
Meaning in Life and Loneliness as Mediators between COVID-19 Anxiety and Life Satisfaction in the Post-Pandemic among the General Population in Turkey: A Serial Mediation Model
by Zafer Güney Çağış, Gülçin Güler Öztekin, Izaddin Ahmad Aziz, Francesco Chirico, Amelia Rizzo and Murat Yıldırım
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(10), 2214-2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13100156 - 09 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global society, leading to negative well-being and mental health outcomes. However, little is known about how COVID-19-related anxiety affects life satisfaction through psychological factors. This study examined the mediating roles of meaning in life and loneliness in the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global society, leading to negative well-being and mental health outcomes. However, little is known about how COVID-19-related anxiety affects life satisfaction through psychological factors. This study examined the mediating roles of meaning in life and loneliness in the relationship between COVID-19 anxiety and life satisfaction in 333 Turkish general population (59.2% females; Mage = 33.9 ± 7.8). Participants completed measures of COVID-19 anxiety, life satisfaction, meaning in life, and loneliness. The results showed that COVID-19 anxiety predicted meaning in life, loneliness, and life satisfaction. Meaning in life predicted loneliness and life satisfaction, while loneliness predicted life satisfaction. Serial mediation analysis revealed that COVID-19 anxiety predicts life satisfaction through meaning in life and loneliness, even after controlling for age and gender. These findings contribute to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms between COVID-19 anxiety and life satisfaction, with implications for future research and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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16 pages, 793 KiB  
Article
Psychological Predictors of COVID-19-Related Anxiety in Vulnerable Groups
by Diana Bakalova, Ilina Nacheva and Tsvetelina Panchelieva
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(9), 1815-1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13090132 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
This study responds to the need to explore psychological predictors of COVID-19-related anxiety in vulnerable groups. An anonymous voluntary online survey was conducted (n = 520) with (a) working parents with young children (0–12 y.o.), (b) people with chronic physical conditions, (c) [...] Read more.
This study responds to the need to explore psychological predictors of COVID-19-related anxiety in vulnerable groups. An anonymous voluntary online survey was conducted (n = 520) with (a) working parents with young children (0–12 y.o.), (b) people with chronic physical conditions, (c) people with multiple vulnerability characteristics and (d) a control group (no self-reported vulnerability) in 2022. Findings showed that perceived stress of the parents and trait anxiety of the chronic sufferers were single weak positive predictors of COVID-19 anxiety. However, both psychological factors had a stronger effect on the pandemic-related anxiety for the group with multiple vulnerabilities. In the control group, trait resilience and optimistic expectations (combined with perceived stress) were moderate negative predictors of COVID-19 anxiety. The findings emphasize the importance of perceptions, expectations, trait anxiety as well as the need for intersectional research of vulnerability from multiple perspectives. Furthermore, they highlight the necessity of group-specific policies and interventions aimed both at handling the negative psychological tendencies of the vulnerable groups and at strengthening the positive tendencies of non-vulnerable groups, rather than tackling only emergent anxiety conditions in crisis times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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14 pages, 2767 KiB  
Article
Rethinking Learning Experience: How Generally Perceived Life Stress Influences Students’ Course Perceptions in Different Learning Environments
by Morris Gellisch, Thorsten Schäfer, Imadeldin Yahya, Matthias Joswig, Xin Cheng, Gabriela Morosan-Puopolo and Beate Brand-Saberi
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(8), 1491-1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13080109 - 12 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Previous research work has already demonstrated that both the form of teaching as well as different teaching methods directly influence students’ learning experience along with their psychobiological responses at the endocrine and autonomic level. Aiming to gain deeper insights into the constitution of [...] Read more.
Previous research work has already demonstrated that both the form of teaching as well as different teaching methods directly influence students’ learning experience along with their psychobiological responses at the endocrine and autonomic level. Aiming to gain deeper insights into the constitution of the learning experience, this study examined the influence of external factors such as generally perceived life stress and self-efficacy on the immediate learning experience in different learning environments. Therefore, a randomized experimental field study was conducted in which both psychological constructs and physiological data (heart rate variability) were collected from healthy first-year medical students (n = 101) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to determine the consistency of the effects across various teaching formats, the same content of a practical histology course was carried out in a face-to-face setting as well as in passive and active online teaching. While self-efficacy was a strong predictor for positive course perceptions in all learning conditions (Pearson’s r = 0.41–0.58), generally perceived worries correlated with higher anxiety during passive online learning and face-to-face learning (Pearson’s r = 0.21–0.44), a finding supported by the negative correlation between the level of perceived life demands and enjoyment during the learning unit (Pearson’s r = −0.40–−0.43). Here, we additionally report initial evidence pointing towards the role of reduced general life stress as a resilience factor for the expression of physiological stress parameters in an academic context (small-sized effect; Pearson’s r = 0.18). The data gathered in this study illustrate the relevance of emerging emotional manifestations—either aversive; negative effect or positive; protective effect—for the immediate learning process and thus establish a connection between medical education and the importance of mental health and wellbeing—especially discussed against the background of current social and political challenges in increasingly complex societal structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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9 pages, 484 KiB  
Article
Alcohol and Drug Consumption among Drivers before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Observational Study
by Maricla Marrone, Fortunato Pititto, Alessandra Stellacci, Simona Nicolì, Luigi Buongiorno, Benedetta Pia De Luca, Lucia Aventaggiato, Giuseppe Strisciullo, Biagio Solarino and Marcello Benevento
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(5), 897-905; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13050068 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic might have changed recreational habits. In this study, the results of toxicological tests for alcohol and drugs in blood were compared among drivers stopped at roadside checks in the periods before (1 January 2018 to 8 March [...] Read more.
Restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic might have changed recreational habits. In this study, the results of toxicological tests for alcohol and drugs in blood were compared among drivers stopped at roadside checks in the periods before (1 January 2018 to 8 March 2020) and after the lockdown measures (9 March 2020 to 31 December 2021). A total of 123 (20.7%) subjects had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit for driving of 0.5 g/l, 21 (3.9%) subjects tested positive for cocaine, and 29 (5.4%) subjects positive for cannabis. In the COVID-19 period, the mean blood alcohol level was significantly higher than in the previous period. Cannabis use, which was more frequent among younger subjects, was statistically associated with cocaine use. There has also been a quantitative increase in alcohol levels in the population with values above the legal limits, indicative of greater use of alcohol in the population predisposed to its intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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14 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Understanding Education Workers’ Stressors after Lockdowns in Ontario, Canada: A Qualitative Study
by Frances Serrano, Marianne Saragosa, Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia, Lynn Woodford, Jennifer Casole and Basem Gohar
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(5), 836-849; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13050063 - 09 May 2023
Viewed by 1609
Abstract
Understanding the experiences and stressors of education workers is critical for making improvements and planning for future emergency situations. Province-specific studies offer valuable information to understand the stressors of returning to the workplace. This study aims to identify the stressors education workers experienced [...] Read more.
Understanding the experiences and stressors of education workers is critical for making improvements and planning for future emergency situations. Province-specific studies offer valuable information to understand the stressors of returning to the workplace. This study aims to identify the stressors education workers experienced when returning to work after months of school closures. This qualitative data is part of a larger study. Individuals completed a survey including a questionnaire and some open-ended questions in English and French. A total of 2349 respondents completed the qualitative portion of the survey, of which most were women (81%), approximately 44 years of age, and working as teachers (83.9%). The open-ended questions were analyzed using thematic analysis. Seven themes emerged from our analysis: (1) challenges with service provision and using technology; (2) disruption in work–life balance; (3) lack of clear communication and direction from the government and school administration; (4) fear of contracting the virus due to insufficient health/COVID-19 protocols; (5) increase in work demands; (6) various coping strategies to deal with the stressors of working during the COVID-19 pandemic; (7) lessons to be learned from working amid a global pandemic. Education workers have faced many challenges since returning to work. These findings demonstrate the need for improvements such as greater flexibility, training opportunities, support, and communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
16 pages, 1191 KiB  
Article
Mental Health of Tourism Employees Post COVID-19 Pandemic: A Test of Antecedents and Moderators
by Ibrahim A. Elshaer and Alaa M. S. Azazz
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(3), 626-641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13030048 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2371
Abstract
Many people are experiencing a lack of confidence in the security of their employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly employees in the tourism sector, which has caused adverse effects on their mental health. These adverse effects involve the management of stress, anxiety [...] Read more.
Many people are experiencing a lack of confidence in the security of their employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly employees in the tourism sector, which has caused adverse effects on their mental health. These adverse effects involve the management of stress, anxiety and depression, that may arise from the demands of the industry. However, few studies have explored how insecurity in the workplace and financial pressure from families affects mental health and can intervene in these relationships. In this study, the aim was to investigate job insecurity as an antecedent of employees’ mental health and family financial pressures as a moderator using a sample of 475 hotel and travel industry employees. The theoretical background of the study was built upon the theories of resource conservation and effort–reward imbalance. The participants completed an online survey that measured job insecurity, family financial pressure, depression, anxiety, and stress. The collected data were subjected to PLS-SEM data analysis. The findings of this study reveal that job insecurity had a significant influence on depression, anxiety, and stress among tourism employees, and family financial pressure worsened the negative consequences of job insecurity on mental health. This research highlights the significance of addressing the mental health of employees in the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the crucial role played by family financial pressures. The findings of this study highlight the importance of addressing job insecurity in the tourism industry and its impact on employees’ mental health. This could involve implementing policies and practices that enhance job security, such as providing more stable work schedules, better benefits packages, and greater opportunities for professional development. The results also underscore the need to take into account the role of family financial pressure in moderating the impact of job insecurity on mental health. Practitioners and policymakers in the tourism industry should consider ways to alleviate financial pressure on employees and their families, such as offering assistance programs, flexible work arrangements, and supportive company policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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13 pages, 646 KiB  
Article
From Passion to Abyss: The Mental Health of Athletes during COVID-19 Lockdown
by Liliana Pitacho, Patrícia Jardim da Palma, Pedro Correia and João Pedro Cordeiro
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(3), 613-625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13030047 - 14 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2213
Abstract
The outbreak and pandemic of COVID-19 forced people into extreme isolation and social distancing, with significant limitations on various activity sectors, including sports. This study aimed to assess the psychological health status of athletes during sports lockdown. Additionally, we intend to verify the [...] Read more.
The outbreak and pandemic of COVID-19 forced people into extreme isolation and social distancing, with significant limitations on various activity sectors, including sports. This study aimed to assess the psychological health status of athletes during sports lockdown. Additionally, we intend to verify the mediating role of sleep disorders in stress perception and subjective happiness. Our sample was composed of 1492 Portuguese athletes from eight different team sports. During sports lockdown, athletes were found to have high stress levels and low subjective happiness levels and experience sleep disorders. Finally, these results conclude that sports lockdowns harm athletes’ psychological health and well-being. Pay cuts to athletes are an extra stress factor that exacerbate these adverse effects on psychological health. Finally, sleep is a mediator variable between stress perception and subjective happiness levels. This study’s significant contributions, limitations, and future directions are discussed in the conclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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15 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Is Satisfaction with Online Learning Related to Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia Symptoms? A Cross-Sectional Study on Medical Undergraduates in Romania
by Claudiu Gabriel Ionescu, Anca Chendea and Monica Licu
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(3), 580-594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13030045 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1889
Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate online learning satisfaction in a sample of university students and its relationship with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and the average number of hours spent online. A total of 463 medical students were recruited for an online [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate online learning satisfaction in a sample of university students and its relationship with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and the average number of hours spent online. A total of 463 medical students were recruited for an online survey conducted from February to March 2022 with the main objective of estimating online learning satisfaction, while secondary outcomes involved assessing the relationship between online learning and depression, anxiety, insomnia, and the average number of hours spent online. A total of 285 participants were female (71.4%) and the mean age was 20.2 years. The results revealed that depression, anxiety, and insomnia are negatively correlated with overall satisfaction with e-learning. The more time students spent online, the greater the overall satisfaction. There are significant differences regarding student perceptions of interactivity in online learning satisfaction outcomes (p < 0.05, η2 partial Eta Squared-0.284). The opportunity to learn via chat-box presented differences in overall satisfaction while pleasant aspects of online learning, such as “no travel” and “economy”, were related to satisfaction. The students revealed that the higher the psychopathology scores, the less satisfied they were with online learning, while a higher number of hours spent online contributed positively to satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
13 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
The Role of Emotional Skills (Competence) and Coping Strategies in Adolescent Depression
by Dario Vucenovic, Gabriela Sipek and Katarina Jelic
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(3), 540-552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13030041 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2669
Abstract
Depression is a state of low mood that can lead to several negative outcomes on thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and even physical state. With that in mind, it is important to detect individuals at risk of developing depressive symptoms early and identify protective factors. [...] Read more.
Depression is a state of low mood that can lead to several negative outcomes on thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and even physical state. With that in mind, it is important to detect individuals at risk of developing depressive symptoms early and identify protective factors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents emerged as one of the most vulnerable groups, with deteriorated anxiety and depression due to imposed social isolation, reduced social activities, and concerns over household status, health, and peer support. Distance learning through public service broadcasts and online tools lasted for several months, posing the need for adjustment. This study aimed to assess emotional competence and coping styles as predictors of depression in a sample of adolescents. The study was conducted in-person on a sample of 142 high school students. A high percentage of participants reported above-average levels of depression (21.1% severely depressed). On average, girls reported higher levels of depression than boys (t = 3.86, p < 0.01). Gender differences were also found in emotion-focused coping and avoidance, with girls scoring higher on both (p < 0.05). However, there were no gender differences in problem-focused coping or emotional competence. Hierarchical regression analysis concluded that perceiving and understanding emotions, expressing and naming emotions, regulating emotions, and avoidance were significant predictors of depression. This regression model explained 53% of depression variance, with the regulation of emotions being the most powerful predictor (p < 0.01). No mediating effect of coping styles on the relationship between emotional competence and depression was found in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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12 pages, 741 KiB  
Article
Relationship and Sexual Quality in the Wake of COVID-19: Effects of Individual Regulatory Focus and Shared Concerns over the Pandemic
by David L. Rodrigues and Rhonda N. Balzarini
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(2), 460-471; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13020035 - 15 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1467
Abstract
Research has shown mixed findings regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on relationship and sexual quality and activity. We argue that some of these findings might be understood considering people’s predisposition to maintain safety (i.e., prevention focus) or take risks (i.e., promotion [...] Read more.
Research has shown mixed findings regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on relationship and sexual quality and activity. We argue that some of these findings might be understood considering people’s predisposition to maintain safety (i.e., prevention focus) or take risks (i.e., promotion focus), and sharing concerns with one’s partner about the pandemic. A longitudinal study (N = 153) tested if regulatory focus before the pandemic (November 2019) was associated with relationship quality, sexual quality, and joint sexual activity later on (June 2020) and whether these effects were moderated by shared concerns over the pandemic. Results showed that participants more focused on prevention experienced higher relationship quality later on, but also less sexual quality and less frequent joint sexual activity, when they shared fewer (vs. more) concerns with their partner. In contrast, participants more focused on promotion experienced higher relationship quality later on when they shared more (vs. less) concerns with their partner. These results indicate how individuals’ regulatory focus and shared concerns in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can have downstream consequences on people’s relational and sexual dynamics. We offer insights for mental health professionals to improve psychosocial health and well-being when people are faced with critical events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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11 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Mental Health Status and Coping among Portuguese Higher Education Students in the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Carlos Laranjeira, Maria Anjos Dixe and Ana Querido
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(2), 429-439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13020032 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Globally, the COVID-19 outbreak had an adverse effect on higher education students’ mental health and psychological well-being. This study aims to assess the prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression and associated factors in a sample of students in the early phase of the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Globally, the COVID-19 outbreak had an adverse effect on higher education students’ mental health and psychological well-being. This study aims to assess the prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression and associated factors in a sample of students in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and determine the predictive effect of mental health status on coping. The sample was collected between March and July 2020 and included 392 higher education students in Portugal. An online cross-sectional study was conducted using a survey that included an information form, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, and the Brief Resilient Coping Scale. The prevalence of mild-to-extremely severe depression, anxiety and stress was 24.2%, 32.7% and 33.4%, respectively. About 60% of the sample had poor coping abilities. Masters students, participants older than 30 years and female participants had significantly greater resilient coping compared to undergraduate students and younger and male participants (p < 0.05). Resilient coping correlated negatively with depression, anxiety and stress. The regression analysis showed that age together with overall levels of depression, anxiety and stress explained 16.9% of the variance in coping. The results should inform the implementation of interventions to mitigate the impact of psychological distress and promote mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
14 pages, 319 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with COVID-19-Related Stress among Female Primary Caregivers in Vulnerable Families in South Africa
by Michelle Engelbrecht
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(2), 377-390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13020028 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
Inequality in South Africa is deeply rooted, and COVID-19 glaringly brought inequalities between families to the forefront. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with the above average stress levels of female primary caregivers in vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Inequality in South Africa is deeply rooted, and COVID-19 glaringly brought inequalities between families to the forefront. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with the above average stress levels of female primary caregivers in vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken among vulnerable families from October 2021 to February 2022. Above average scores were reported by approximately half of the respondents regarding stress from children/partners and stress related to financial issues. Fear of COVID-19, feeling depressed, COVID-19′s impact on daily life, lower education levels, being in a relationship and living together, and perceiving an increase in domestic violence were statistically significantly associated with above average stress from children/partners. Age, impact of COVID-19 on daily life, being in a relationship and living with a husband/partner, and running out of food during the past 30 days were statistically significantly associated with above average stress concerning finances. These results provide new insights that can assist policy makers and practitioners in supporting low-income families during times of crisis. Support should not just focus on practical aspects, such as the provision of food, but equally importantly, on emotional support and protection for female primary caregivers and their families. Future research should delve more deeply into causes of COVID-19-related stress in vulnerable families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
10 pages, 2517 KiB  
Article
Does Positive Thinking Help during Difficult Pandemic Times? The Role of Positive Orientation in the Relationship between Fear of COVID-19 and Perceived Stress
by Joanna Dymecka, Rafał Gerymski, Anna Machnik-Czerwik and Aleksandra M. Rogowska
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(1), 151-160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13010011 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2694
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has become a huge challenge for the modern world. How people perceive themselves and their coping abilities is important for their mental health and well-being. One of the traits that may be important in effectively coping with difficulties is positive [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has become a huge challenge for the modern world. How people perceive themselves and their coping abilities is important for their mental health and well-being. One of the traits that may be important in effectively coping with difficulties is positive orientation: a stable cognitive disposition that is the opposite of depression and is associated with a positive perception of oneself, one’s life, events, and the future. This study aimed to verify the role of positive orientation in the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and perceived stress. A sample of 907 Polish people took part in this study. FOC-6, P Scale, and PSS-10 questionnaires were used in the presented cross-sectional study. The analysis showed that women scored higher in fear of COVID-19 and perceived stress scores than men (Cohen’s d indicated a moderate effect). There was no significant difference in the levels of positive orientation. P Scale results were significantly related to fear of COVID-19 (small effect) only for the whole studied sample, and not for women and men considered separately. Fear of COVID-19 was positively related to the perceived stress score (moderate effect). Positive orientation was negatively related to the PSS-10 scores (also moderate effect) for all tested groups. Fear of COVID-19 and positive orientation were significant predictors of perceived stress scores. The mediation effect of positive orientation was statistically significant, but the effect size was marginally small. Positive orientation is an important predictor of perceived stress, which could be related to the COVID-19 pandemic. People with a positive orientation better cope with the challenges of the pandemic and are optimistic about the future. Working on positive orientation can improve well-being and reduce tension, which is extremely important in difficult pandemic times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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14 pages, 553 KiB  
Article
Psychological Distress Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Protective Role of Hope
by Luca Flesia, Muhammad Adeeb, Aqsa Waseem, Mai Helmy and Merylin Monaro
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(1), 67-80; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13010005 - 03 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2931
Abstract
The COVID-19 outbreak and the worldwide lockdown measures had an impact on the global mental health and psychological well-being of the general population. Several studies attempted to investigate the protective and risk factors for psychological distress related to the pandemic. However, to date, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the worldwide lockdown measures had an impact on the global mental health and psychological well-being of the general population. Several studies attempted to investigate the protective and risk factors for psychological distress related to the pandemic. However, to date, little is known about the role of hope in this context. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between hope and psychological distress related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the general population. The sample consisted of 504 Pakistani people who completed cross-sectionally the COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Index (CPDI) and the Adult Hope Scale (AHS). Bivariate Pearson correlation analysis was run to measure the relationship between hope and psychological distress; hierarchical regression analysis was run to investigate the association between demographics and hope with psychological distress. Higher levels of hope predicted lower levels of psychological distress. Being female, being older, lower level of education, urban residence, being married and living in nuclear family systems were associated with higher levels of psychological distress. The study highlights the protective role of hope on psychological distress related to COVID-19, contributing to knowledge on factors promoting positive mental health during emergency times and providing useful information for implementing effective public health policies and programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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13 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with Job Satisfaction in Medical Laboratory Professionals during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Exploratory Study in Ontario, Canada
by Joyce Lo, Yusra Fayyaz, Sharan Jaswal, Basem Gohar, Amin Yazdani, Vijay Kumar Chattu and Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(1), 54-66; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13010004 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3698
Abstract
Job satisfaction has been widely studied across several healthcare disciplines and is correlated with important outcomes such as job performance and employee mental health. However, there is limited research on job satisfaction among medical laboratory professionals (MLPs), a key healthcare group that aids [...] Read more.
Job satisfaction has been widely studied across several healthcare disciplines and is correlated with important outcomes such as job performance and employee mental health. However, there is limited research on job satisfaction among medical laboratory professionals (MLPs), a key healthcare group that aids in diagnosis, treatment, and patient care. The objective of this study is to examine the demographic and psychosocial factors associated with job satisfaction for MLPs in Ontario, Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey was administered to medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) and medical laboratory technicians/assistants (MLT/As) in Ontario, Canada. The survey included demographic questions and items from the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, third edition. Binary logistic regressions were used to examine the association between job satisfaction and demographic variables and psychosocial work factors. There were 688 MLPs included in the analytic sample (72.12% response rate). Having a higher sense of community at work was correlated with higher job satisfaction in both MLT (OR = 2.22, 95% CI: 1.07–4.77) and MLT/A (OR = 3.85, 95% CI: 1.12–14.06). In addition, having higher stress was correlated with lower job satisfaction in both MLT (OR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.18–0.57) and MLT/A (OR = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.10–0.66). This study provides preliminary evidence on factors associated with job satisfaction in MLT and MLT/A. The findings can be used to support organizational practices and policies to improve psychosocial work factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
22 pages, 1733 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Stress and Teachers Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Sense of Coherence and Resilience
by Girum Tareke Zewude, Sisay Demissew Beyene, Belayneh Taye, Fatiha Sadouki and Maria Hercz
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2023, 13(1), 1-22; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe13010001 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3335
Abstract
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many professions with short-, medium-, and long-term consequences. Hence, this study examined the mediating role of sense of coherence (SOC) and resilience in the relation to COVID-19 stress and teachers’ well-being (TWB). It recruited 836 [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many professions with short-, medium-, and long-term consequences. Hence, this study examined the mediating role of sense of coherence (SOC) and resilience in the relation to COVID-19 stress and teachers’ well-being (TWB). It recruited 836 teachers from Ethiopia’s higher-education institutions, of which 630 (75.4%) were men and 206 (24.6%) were women, with a mean age of 32.81 years and a standard deviation of 6.42. Findings showed that COVID-19 stress negatively predicted SOC, resilience, and TWB and that SOC and resilience positively predicted TWB. It was concluded that SOC and resilience, both together and separately, mediated the relation between COVID-19 stress and TWB. These results were discussed alongside relevant literature, and the study is found to be valuable for practitioners and researchers who seek to improve well-being using SOC and resilience as resources across teaching professions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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13 pages, 669 KiB  
Article
Emotion Dysregulation and Conspiracy Beliefs about COVID-19: The Moderating Role of Critical Social Media Use
by Cristiano Scandurra, Rosa Pizzo, Luca Emanuel Pinto, Claudia Cafasso, Renata Pellegrini, Federica Cafaggi, Oriana D’Anna, Benedetta Muzii, Vincenzo Bochicchio and Nelson Mauro Maldonato
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(10), 1559-1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12100109 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2994
Abstract
As COVID-19 has spread worldwide, conspiracy theories have proliferated rapidly on social media platforms, adversely affecting public health. For this reason, media literacy interventions have been highly recommended, although the impact of critical social media use on the development of COVID-19 conspiracy theories [...] Read more.
As COVID-19 has spread worldwide, conspiracy theories have proliferated rapidly on social media platforms, adversely affecting public health. For this reason, media literacy interventions have been highly recommended, although the impact of critical social media use on the development of COVID-19 conspiracy theories has not yet been empirically studied. Moreover, emotional dysregulation may play another crucial role in the development of such theories, as they are often associated with stress, anxiety, lack of control, and other negative emotions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that emotion dysregulation would be positively associated with conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19 and that critical use of social media would attenuate this association. Data from 930 Italian participants (339 men and 591 women) were collected online during the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. A moderated model was tested using the PROCESS Macro for SPSS. Results showed that: (1) emotion dysregulation and critical social media use accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19; and (2) critical social media use moderated the effect of emotion dysregulation on conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19. Implications for preventing the spread of conspiracy theories are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: What Do We Know So Far?)
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