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Title: Dual impacts of coronavirus anxiety on mental health in 35 societies
Authors: Chen, SX 
Ng, JCK
Hui, BPH 
Au, AKY 
Wu, WCH 
Lam, BCP
Mak, WWS
Liu, JH
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Scientific reports, 2021, v. 11, 8925
Abstract: The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected both physical health and mental well-being around the world. Stress-related reactions, if prolonged, may result in mental health problems. We examined the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in a multinational study and explored the effects of government responses to the outbreak. We sampled 18,171 community adults from 35 countries/societies, stratified by age, gender, and region of residence. Across the 35 societies, 26.6% of participants reported moderate to extremely severe depression symptoms, 28.2% moderate to extremely severe anxiety symptoms, and 18.3% moderate to extremely severe stress symptoms. Coronavirus anxiety comprises two factors, namely Perceived Vulnerability and Threat Response. After controlling for age, gender, and education level, perceived vulnerability predicted higher levels of negative emotional symptoms and psychological distress, whereas threat response predicted higher levels of self-rated health and subjective well-being. People in societies with more stringent control policies had more threat response and reported better subjective health. Coronavirus anxiety exerts detrimental effects on subjective health and well-being, but also has the adaptive function in mobilizing safety behaviors, providing support for an evolutionary perspective on psychological adaptation.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal: Scientific reports 
EISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-87771-1
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
The following publication Chen, S.X., Ng, J.C.K., Hui, B.P.H. et al. Dual impacts of coronavirus anxiety on mental health in 35 societies. Sci Rep 11, 8925 (2021) is available at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87771-1
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