Topic Editors

Department of General Psychology, Penza State University, 440026 Penza, Russia
Laboratory of Psychometry, Comparative Psychology and Ethology, Universidad Católica de Cuenca, Av. de las Americas, Cuenca, Ecuador

Cultural Differences and Migrant Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19

Abstract submission deadline
30 July 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
30 September 2024
Viewed by
11782

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The profound global economic and social crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic represented has created the need for a new, more thorough study of, it would seem, previously well-studied questions. Among them is the complex of problems related to the influence on the human psyche of a long stay in a different cultural and ethnic environment. How different were the psycho-emotional reactions to the pandemic from different cultures and ethnic groups? How different were the psycho-emotional reactions of indigenous people and immigrant workers from different countries? How much variation was there in the psycho-emotional state of people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds compared to the pre-pandemic era? How quickly did they adapt to the new critical conditions? How did the psycho-emotional response to the pandemic by immigrants include differences in living standards and lifestyles with the native population and less access to healthcare and other public services? It would, of course, be wrong to limit the study to the differences in the behavior of the native population and immigrants. It is also extremely important to identify commonalities in their psycho-emotional reactions, as well as to search for the reasons for these similarities. The spread of the anti-vaccination movement in both developing and developed countries, for example, has become a problem that urgently needs to be explained scientifically. What made people not only of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but also of very different educational, economic, and social backgrounds, unite around this rather strange and absurd myth? The answer to this question will help to explain much in the behavior of modern humans. Paradoxically, the pandemic not only raised new questions for science but also opened new possibilities for it by placing people in very unusual conditions. It became, in a way, a grandiose worldwide socio-economic experiment. Such an opportunity to look at old, well-known problems in the condition and behavior of huge masses of people from a new perspective does not occur for every generation of scientists. How has the scientific community taken advantage of it? Finding an answer to this question is another reason why MDPI has begun to collect material for this Topic. 

Prof. Dr. Vsevolod Konstantinov
Dr. Andrés Alexis Ramírez Coronel
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • cultural differences
  • social science
  • human behaviors
  • migrants
  • mental health
  • native population
  • anti-vaccination movement
  • different cultural and ethnic environment

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Behavioral Sciences
behavsci
2.6 3.0 2011 21.5 Days CHF 2200 Submit
COVID
covid
- - 2021 16.8 Days CHF 1000 Submit
European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education
ejihpe
3.2 3.5 2011 20.1 Days CHF 1400 Submit
Societies
societies
2.1 2.3 2011 32.6 Days CHF 1400 Submit
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 5.4 2004 29.6 Days CHF 2500 Submit
Healthcare
healthcare
2.8 2.7 2013 19.5 Days CHF 2700 Submit

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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16 pages, 569 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Risk of Social Vulnerability for the Chinese Diaspora during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Model Driving Risk Perception and Threat Appraisal of Risk Communication—A Qualitative Study
by Doris Yuet Lan Leung, Hilary Hwu, Shoilee Khan, Aaida Mamuji, Jack Rozdilsky, Terri Chu and Charlotte Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(4), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21040512 (registering DOI) - 21 Apr 2024
Viewed by 127
Abstract
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants were among the most socially vulnerable in Western countries. The Chinese diaspora in Canada were one such group due to the widespread cultural stigma surrounding their purported greater susceptibility to transmit and become infected [...] Read more.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants were among the most socially vulnerable in Western countries. The Chinese diaspora in Canada were one such group due to the widespread cultural stigma surrounding their purported greater susceptibility to transmit and become infected by COVID-19. This paper aims to understand the social vulnerability of the Chinese diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, during the first wave of COVID-19 from an explanation of their risk perception and threat appraisal of risk communication. We conducted secondary data analysis of 36 interviews using critical realism. The participants self-identified as being of Chinese descent. The results were used to develop a model of how social vulnerability occurred. In brief, cognitive dissonance was discovered to generate conflicts of one’s cultural identity, shaped by social structures of (i) stigma of contagion, (ii) ethnic stigma, and (iii) public sentiment, and mediated by participants’ threat appraisal and (iv) self-reliance. We assert that risk communicators need to consider their audiences’ diverse socialization in crafting messages to modify behaviors, create a sense of responsibility, and mitigate public health threats. A lack of awareness of one’s cognitive dissonance driven by cultural vulnerability may heighten their social vulnerability and prevent them from taking action to protect themself from high-risk events. Full article
12 pages, 2184 KiB  
Article
Perceived Interpersonal Distances: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Young Taiwanese and Young Southeast Asians during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Yi-Lang Chen, Yu-Chi Lee and Andi Rahman
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14010020 - 27 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Prior research on interpersonal distance (IPD) has predominantly concentrated on specific nationalities or population groups within their respective regions. There is a dearth of studies investigating IPD differences among individuals of distinct nationalities coexisting in the same geographical location. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Prior research on interpersonal distance (IPD) has predominantly concentrated on specific nationalities or population groups within their respective regions. There is a dearth of studies investigating IPD differences among individuals of distinct nationalities coexisting in the same geographical location. This study aimed to examine the variances in IPD between 100 young Taiwanese participants (comprising 50 males and 50 females) and 100 Southeast Asian individuals (including 50 males and 50 females). This study also considered factors affecting IPD, including target genders and mask-wearing conditions. The results of the four-way ANOVA indicate that target gender and mask-wearing conditions had a significant impact on IPD (p < 0.001). While there were no significant main effects for region and participant gender, there was a noteworthy interactive effect between these two variables on IPD. In general, Southeast Asian participants exhibited lower sensitivity to changes in IPD in response to the independent variables in comparison to their Taiwanese counterparts; in certain instances, their IPD did not notably increase when confronted with targets not wearing masks. While prior research typically indicated that women tend to maintain larger IPD than men, the current study observed this gender difference only among young Taiwanese participants. However, such a gender gap was absent among young individuals from Southeast Asia. Full article
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11 pages, 344 KiB  
Review
Positive Mental Health of Migrants in the UK during COVID-19: A Review
by Yasuhiro Kotera, Habib Adam, Ann Kirkman, Muhammad Aledeh, Michelle Brooks-Ucheaga, Olamide Todowede, Stefan Rennick-Egglestone and Jessica Eve Jackson
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(22), 7046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20227046 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
COVID-19 impacted the mental health of many people in the UK. The negative impact was especially substantial among vulnerable population groups, including migrants. While research has focused on the negative aspects of mental health during the pandemic, the positive mental health of migrants [...] Read more.
COVID-19 impacted the mental health of many people in the UK. The negative impact was especially substantial among vulnerable population groups, including migrants. While research has focused on the negative aspects of mental health during the pandemic, the positive mental health of migrants in the UK during COVID-19 remained to be evaluated. This review aimed to identify literature that focused on positive mental health, and thematically synthesise the findings to understand what positive mental health approaches were employed to support specific outcomes during the pandemic for them to survive in this difficult time. Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO were searched using terms including “mental health”, “migrants”, and “COVID-19”. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist was used to assess the quality of the included studies. There were only two studies examining the positive mental health of UK migrants during this period. They describe approaches such as religious beliefs, passion for and acknowledgement of their job, learning new things, being physically active, social media, and social activities, producing outcomes such as inner peace, confidence, well-being, and a sense of belonging. The quality of the included studies was high. More research about positive mental health in migrants in the UK during the pandemic is needed. Full article
13 pages, 330 KiB  
Article
Knowledge, Perception, and Attitudes during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Peruvian Population
by Jonathan Adrián Zegarra-Valdivia, Brenda Nadia Chino Vilca, Rita Judith Ames Guerrero and Carmen Paredes-Manrique
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100807 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
Background: Latin American countries have been profoundly affected by COVID-19. Due to the alarming incidence of identified cases, we intended to explore which psychosocial elements may influence poor adherence to the mandatory control measures among the population. Objective: We aimed to assess Peruvians’ [...] Read more.
Background: Latin American countries have been profoundly affected by COVID-19. Due to the alarming incidence of identified cases, we intended to explore which psychosocial elements may influence poor adherence to the mandatory control measures among the population. Objective: We aimed to assess Peruvians’ knowledge, attitudes, and vulnerability perception during the coronavirus outbreak. Method: We collected data from 225 self-selected participants using a web-based cross-sectional survey. Results: The overall respondents were between 18 and 29 years old (56.8%), female (59.5%), belonged to educated groups, and graduated professionals (69.3%), most of them. Logistic regression showed that Knowledge is highly associated with education (p = 0.031), occupation (p = 0.002), and age (p = 0.016). Our study identified that, although people reported adequate Knowledge by identifying expected symptoms and virus transmission ways in COVID-19 disease. There is a significant perceived susceptibility to contracting the mentioned virus, displaying stigmatized behavior (59.1%) and fear of contracting the virus from others (70.2%). Additionally, it is reported to lack people’s confidence in national health authorities regarding sanitary responses (62.7%), preparedness for the disease (76.9%), and the lack of adequate measures to deal with it (51.1%). Conclusion: We found that age, education, and occupation modulate Knowledge. At the same time, only age affected Perception and Attitude. Public policies should consider specific guidelines on knowledge translation and risk communication strategies for both containing psychological responses promptly and ensuring compliance with general control measures by the population. Full article
68 pages, 56138 KiB  
Article
The Correlation between Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and COVID-19 Data in the Early Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic Period
by Ling-Hsing Chang and Sheng Wu
Healthcare 2023, 11(16), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11162258 - 10 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has become the deadliest virus to affect the international community in recent history, with more than 760 million people infected and more than 6.87 million deaths as of March 2023; therefore, based on Hofstede’s national cultural theory, this study [...] Read more.
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has become the deadliest virus to affect the international community in recent history, with more than 760 million people infected and more than 6.87 million deaths as of March 2023; therefore, based on Hofstede’s national cultural theory, this study collected Hofstede’s six national cultural dimensions on a global scale, namely, power distance (PDI), individualism/collectivism (IDV), masculinity/femininity (MAS), uncertainty avoidance (UAI), long-term/short-term orientation (LTO), and indulgence/restraint (IVR) scores, and COVID-19 data from the World Health Organization (WHO) from 22 February 2020 to 30 February 2021. Then, based on eight items of global COVID-19 data, this study analyzed the correlation between Hofstede’s six dimensions and the COVID-19 data from six regions (Africa (AFRO), Europe (EURO), the Americas (AMRO), the Western Pacific (WPRO), South East Asia (SEARO), and the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO)) divided by the WHO. This study found the following: (1) Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions indeed have a significant correlation with the COVID-19 data of different WHO regions in different ways. (2) Except for IDV and UAI, PDI is a highly critical factor and has a significant correlation with the COVID-19 data from AFRO and EMRO. MAS also is an important factor and has a significant correlation with COVID-19 data from WPRO and SEARO. Meanwhile, LTO has a significant correlation with some COVID-19 data from the AMRO region, and IVR has a significant correlation with some COVID-19 data from the EURO region. Finally, the new insights from this study are worthy of further study by scholars, and they will be of great help to global governments and medical institutions in formulating policies to suppress infectious diseases in the future. Full article
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21 pages, 757 KiB  
Article
Adjustment to Chinese Culture and Mental Health Issues among Foreign Students on Chinese University Campuses during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Collaborative Ethnographic Study
by Jian Li, Eryong Xue and Yunshu He
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13070526 - 22 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1852
Abstract
Foreign students in China may have difficulty adjusting to Chinese culture and may experience mental health problems related to acculturation, interpersonal issues, and social communication within the context of campus life. Therefore, this study attempts to apply a collaborative ethnography approach to explore [...] Read more.
Foreign students in China may have difficulty adjusting to Chinese culture and may experience mental health problems related to acculturation, interpersonal issues, and social communication within the context of campus life. Therefore, this study attempts to apply a collaborative ethnography approach to explore the adjustment to Chinese culture and mental health issues among foreign students on Chinese campuses during the COVID-19 pandemic. We spent 16 months exploring the feelings and perceptions of 82 foreign international undergraduate students at six Chinese higher education institutions regarding their adjustment to Chinese culture and gathered their suggestions about how to address the mental health issues experienced by foreign learners in China. The results show that international students tend to have a limited understanding of Chinese culture and rely on very few channels for information—in particular, the Internet, teachers’ lectures, and daily life—which can easily result in mental health problems and thoughts of marginalization. In addition, the results showed that international students’ mental health problems are subjectively positively correlated with their own personality, cultural intelligence, and cultural identification ability and objectively related to their cultural distance and all aspects of the educational work of international students. It is suggested that Chinese higher education institutions should strengthen their attention to the mental health of international students in China and promote international students’ cross-cultural adaptation abilities and understanding of Chinese culture. Full article
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14 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
Uncovering Resilience Disparities among Religious Groups in Israel’s Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Drive: Lessons Learned to the Post-COVID Era
by Miri Sarid, Maya Kalman-Halevi, Rony Tutian, Sharon Gilat-Yihyie and Adi Sarid
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13050398 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1256
Abstract
The aim of the current study was to examine the emotional resilience, satisfaction with life, social support, and anxiety during the vaccination process of the Israeli population after the end of the third lockdown, according to religiosity degree. We hypothesized that a higher [...] Read more.
The aim of the current study was to examine the emotional resilience, satisfaction with life, social support, and anxiety during the vaccination process of the Israeli population after the end of the third lockdown, according to religiosity degree. We hypothesized that a higher degree of religiosity (ultra-Orthodox and religious participants) would be associated with higher levels of resilience and with lower levels of anxiety than in secular individuals. In addition, it was hypothesized that satisfaction with life, social support, anxiety, and religiosity will predict resilience and anxiety. Nine hundred and ninety-three native Jewish Hebrew-speaking respondents representing ultra-Orthodox, religious, observant, and secular Jews participated in this study. Ultra-Orthodox participants showed higher resilience and satisfaction with life than other groups, and lower levels of anxiety. Satisfaction with life and social support predicted higher resilience. It is suggested that religious faith as well as satisfaction with life may provide a source of strength and resilience in stressful life events. Full article
15 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Emergent Social Capital during the Coronavirus Pandemic in the United States in Hispanics/Latinos
by Jennifer Contreras, Alexandra Fincannon, Tasneem Khambaty and Ester Villalonga-Olives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(8), 5465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085465 - 11 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1669
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted many groups that have been socially and economically marginalized such as Hispanics/Latinos in the United States (U.S.). Our aim was to understand how bonding social capital, bridging social capital, and trust played a role in Hispanics/Latinos over [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted many groups that have been socially and economically marginalized such as Hispanics/Latinos in the United States (U.S.). Our aim was to understand how bonding social capital, bridging social capital, and trust played a role in Hispanics/Latinos over the course of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as explore the negative consequences of social capital. We performed focus group discussions via Zoom (n = 25) between January and December 2021 with Hispanics/Latinos from Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, and New York City, NY. Our findings suggest that Hispanics/Latinos experienced bridging and bonding social capital. Of particular interest was how social capital permeated the Hispanic/Latino community’s socioeconomic challenges during the pandemic. The focus groups revealed the importance of trust and its role in vaccine hesitancy. Additionally, the focus groups discussed the dark side of social capital including caregiving burden and spread of misinformation. We also identified the emergent theme of racism. Future public health interventions should invest in social capital, especially for groups that have been historically marginalized or made vulnerable, and consider the promotion of bonding and bridging social capital and trust. When prospective disasters occur, public health interventions should support vulnerable populations that are overwhelmed with caregiving burden and are susceptible to misinformation. Full article
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