Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19: A Cross-Regional Analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chong, YY; Chien, WT; Cheng, HY; Lamnisos, D; Ļubenko, J; Presti, G; Squatrito, V; Constantinou, M; Nicolaou, C; Papacostas, S; Aydin, G; Ruiz, FJ; Garcia-Martin, MB; Obando-Posada, DP; Segura-Vargas, MA; Vasiliou, VS; McHugh, L; Höfer, S; Baban, A; Neto, DD; Silva, AND; Monestès, J-L; Alvarez-Galvez, J; Blarrina, MP; Montesinos, F; Salas, SV; Őri, D; Kleszcz, B; Lappalainen, R; Ivanović, I; Gosar, D; Dionne, F; Merwin, RM; Gloster, AT; Karekla, M; Kassianos, AP

Published Date

  • April 14, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 8

PubMed ID

  • 33919888

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8070933

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1660-4601

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/ijerph18084143


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland