Voluntary Reduction of Social Interaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan: Related Factors and Association with Perceived Social Support.
ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the proportion of individuals who voluntarily reduced interaction with their family members, friends, and colleagues or classmates to avoid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and the associations of reduced social interaction with perceived social support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. Moreover, the related factors of voluntary reduction of social interaction were examined. We recruited participants via a Facebook advertisement. We determined the reduced social interaction, perceived social support, cognitive and affective constructs of health belief and demographic characteristics among 1954 respondents (1305 women and 649 men; mean age: 37.9 years with standard deviation 10.8 years). In total, 38.1% of respondents voluntarily reduced their social interaction with friends to avoid COVID-19 infection, 36.1% voluntarily reduced their interaction with colleagues or classmates, and 11.1% voluntarily reduced interaction with family members. Respondents who voluntarily reduced interaction with other people reported lower perceived social support than those who did not voluntarily reduce interaction. Respondents who were older and had a higher level of worry regarding contracting COVID-19 were more likely to voluntarily reduce interaction with family members, friends, and colleagues or classmates to avoid COVID-19 infection than respondents who were younger and had a lower level of worry regarding contracting COVID-19, respectively. The present study revealed that despite strict social distancing measures not being implemented in Taiwan, more than one-third of respondents voluntarily reduced their interaction with friends and colleagues or classmates. The general public should be encouraged to maintain social contacts through appropriately distanced in-person visits and telecommunication.
Project description:The acute and long-term mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown. The current study examined the acute mental health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in 5070 adult participants in Australia, using an online survey administered during the peak of the outbreak in Australia (27th March to 7th April 2020). Self-report questionnaires examined COVID-19 fears and behavioural responses to COVID-19, as well as the severity of psychological distress (depression, anxiety and stress), health anxiety, contamination fears, alcohol use, and physical activity. 78% of respondents reported that their mental health had worsened since the outbreak, one quarter (25.9%) were very or extremely worried about contracting COVID-19, and half (52.7%) were worried about family and friends contracting COVID-19. Uncertainty, loneliness and financial worries (50%) were common. Rates of elevated psychological distress were higher than expected, with 62%, 50%, and 64% of respondents reporting elevated depression, anxiety and stress levels respectively, and one in four reporting elevated health anxiety in the past week. Participants with self-reported history of a mental health diagnosis had significantly higher distress, health anxiety, and COVID-19 fears than those without a prior mental health diagnosis. Demographic (e.g., non-binary or different gender identity; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status), occupational (e.g., being a carer or stay at home parent), and psychological (e.g., perceived risk of contracting COVID-19) factors were associated with distress. Results revealed that precautionary behaviours (e.g., washing hands, using hand sanitiser, avoiding social events) were common, although in contrast to previous research, higher engagement in hygiene behaviours was associated with higher stress and anxiety levels. These results highlight the serious acute impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of respondents, and the need for proactive, accessible digital mental health services to address these mental health needs, particularly for those most vulnerable, including people with prior history of mental health problems. Longitudinal research is needed to explore long-term predictors of poor mental health from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project description:This study investigates students' social networks and mental health before and at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, using longitudinal data collected since 2018. We analyze change on multiple dimensions of social networks (interaction, friendship, social support, co-studying) and mental health indicators (depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness) within two cohorts of Swiss undergraduate students experiencing the crisis (N = 212), and make additional comparisons to an earlier cohort which did not experience the crisis (N = 54). In within-person comparisons we find that interaction and co-studying networks had become sparser, and more students were studying alone. Furthermore, students' levels of stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depressive symptoms got worse, compared to measures before the crisis. Stressors shifted from fears of missing out on social life to worries about health, family, friends, and their future. Exploratory analyses suggest that COVID-19 specific worries, isolation in social networks, lack of interaction and emotional support, and physical isolation were associated with negative mental health trajectories. Female students appeared to have worse mental health trajectories when controlling for different levels of social integration and COVID-19 related stressors. As universities and researchers discuss future strategies on how to combine on-site teaching with online courses, our results indicate the importance of considering social contacts in students' mental health and offer starting points to identify and support students at higher risk of social isolation and negative psychological effects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project description:In this study we use economic exchange games to examine the development of prosocial behavior in the form of sharing and giving in social interactions with peers across adolescence. Participants from four age groups (9-, 12-, 15-, and 18-year-olds, total N = 119) played three types of distribution games and the Trust game with four different interaction partners: friends, antagonists, neutral classmates, and anonymous peers. Nine- and 12-year-olds showed similar levels of prosocial behavior to all interaction partners, whereas older adolescents showed increasing differentiation in prosocial behavior depending on the relation with peers, with most prosocial behavior toward friends. The age related increase in non-costly prosocial behavior toward friends was mediated by self-reported perspective-taking skills. Current findings extend existing evidence on the developmental patterns of fairness considerations from childhood into late adolescence. Together, we show that adolescents are increasingly better at incorporating social context into decision-making. Our findings further highlight the role of friendships as a significant social context for the development of prosocial behavior in early adolescence.
Project description:The COVID-19 pandemic influenced the work of employees across all continents. This article presents raw data that may be used to describe how the pandemic affected the work of employees in four European countries and how it influenced their job attitudes, feelings and work performance. In total, 726 respondents from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy filled out an extensive online survey and provided information about changes in their workload, work difficulty, income, social contact, work from home, task performance and organizational commitment during the pandemic, and about the risk of being infected by COVID-19 during their workday. The employees also reported their actual work performance, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, intention to leave and irritation in the time of the pandemic. To reveal factors that might help employees cope with pandemic, the respondents filled out established questionnaires measuring servant leadership of their supervisor, perceived organizational support, social support provided by colleagues, their own occupational self-efficacy, resilience, job crafting and readiness for change. The data is unique as it was collected in a specific situation during the pandemic, when the work of employees was affected by security measures and lockdown introduced by governments in countries where they worked.
Project description:The COVID-19 disease continues to cause unparalleled disruption to life and the economy world over. This paper is the second in what will be an ongoing series of analyses of a longitudinal travel and activity survey. In this paper we examine data collected over a period of late May to early June in Australia, following four-to-six weeks of relatively flat new cases in COVID-19 after the initial nationwide outbreak, as many state jurisdictions have begun to slowly ease restrictions designed to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We find that during this period, travel activity has started to slowly return, in particular by private car, and in particular for the purposes of shopping and social or recreational activities. Respondents indicate comfort with the idea of meeting friends or returning to shops, so authorities need to be aware of potential erosion of social distancing and appropriate COVID-safe behaviour in this regard. There is still a concern about using public transport, though it has diminished noticeably since the first wave of data collection. We see that working from home continues to be an important strategy in reducing travel and pressure on constrained transport networks, and a policy measure that if carried over to a post-pandemic world, will be an important step towards a more sustainable transport future. We find that work from home has been a generally positive experience with a significant number of respondents liking to work from home moving forward, with varying degrees of employer support, at a level above those seen before COVID-19. Thus, any investment to capitalise on current levels of work from home should be viewed as an investment in transport.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:During a pandemic, healthcare workers (HCWs) are essential to the health system response. Based on our knowledge, little information is available regarding the psychosocial impact on HCWs or interventions for supporting them during pandemics. Therefore, the study aimed to assess available literature on perceived stress and psychological responses to influenza pandemics in HCWs and identify implications for healthcare practice and future research. METHODS:This is a rapid review of the literature. The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. RESULTS:Across all the studies-both qualitative and quantitative-HCWs working during the epidemic reported frequent concerns regarding their own health and the fear of infecting their families, friends and colleagues. Moreover, social isolation, uncertainty, fears of stigmatization and reluctance to work or considering absenteeism were frequently reported. Moreover, many studies highlighted a high prevalence of high levels of stress, anxiety and depression symptoms, which could have long-term psychological implications in HCWs. CONCLUSIONS:This rapid review offers an overview of the major concerns regarding HCWs' psychosocial well-being and possible preventive strategies, which could be useful for the current COVID-19 outbreak and similar future pandemics. Studies suggested to invest on preventive psychological, social, family and physical support and to guaranteeing reasonable work conditions and others in order to protect HCWs from the long-lasting psychological effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project description:(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic poses substantial threats to Latinx farmworkers and other immigrants in food production and processing. Classified as essential, such workers cannot shelter at home. Therefore, knowledge and preventive behaviors are important to reduce COVID-19 spread in the community. (2) Methods: Respondents for 67 families with at least one farmworker (FWF) and 38 comparable families with no farmworkers (nonFWF) in North Carolina completed a telephone survey in May 2020. The survey queried knowledge of COVID-19, perceptions of its severity, self-efficacy, and preventive behaviors. Detailed data were collected to document household members' social interaction and use of face coverings. (3) Results: Knowledge of COVID-19 and prevention methods was high in both groups, as was its perceived severity. NonFWF had higher self-efficacy for preventing infection. Both groups claimed to practice preventive behaviors, though FWF emphasized social avoidance and nonFWF emphasized personal hygiene. Detailed social interactions showed high rates of inter-personal contact at home, at work, and in the community with more mask use in nonFWF than FWF. (4) Conclusions: Despite high levels of knowledge and perceived severity for COVID-19, these immigrant families were engaged in frequent interpersonal contact that could expose community members and themselves to COVID-19.
Project description:Objective The study investigates psychological and social moderators of anxiety, depression, and personal stress in Saudi Arabian residents quarantined for COVID-19. Methods Data were collected from 200 participants quarantined in Saudi Arabia using the Emotion Regulation Scale (ERQ), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Multiple regression analyses were carried out in SPSS. Results The results indicated that the overall prevalence of anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and stress were 40.5%, 57.5%, and 55.5%, respectively. Cognitive reappraisal, satisfaction with life, and the social support of friends reduced depression and stress in quarantine. Additionally, females were more likely to be anxious but less likely to be depressed, while older residents generally experienced fewer anxiety and depression symptoms. Conclusion The findings indicate that residents in quarantine, especially younger people, experienced high levels of anxiety and depression. Therefore, continuous psychological monitoring and mental health support may need to be integrated into health care during pandemics. Highlights • COVID-19 has health, emotional, and social implications for individuals.• Being quarantined is a burden for individuals, so it is vital to understand and reduce its negative effects.• Emotional regulation processes are very effective in controlling anxiety, depression, and stress among quarantined residents.• Family support and friends support were crucial for fighting the stress levels of quarantined residents.
Project description:Resilience contributes to the recovery of disaster victims. The resilience of Tibetan adolescents after the Yushu earthquake has not been properly studied. This study aimed to examine the current resilience and associated factors in Tibetan adolescent survivors in the hardest-hit area 5 years after the Yushu earthquake. This cross-sectional survey was conducted in the area hit the hardest by the Yushu earthquake. Data were collected from 4681 respondents in October and November 2015. Measurements included the participant characteristics, traumatic earthquake experience, the Connor-Davidson resilience scale (CD-RISC), and the social support appraisals (SS-A) scale. The individual datasets were randomized as 80% for the training set and 20% for the validation set. The mean resilience score of the Tibetan adolescent survivors was 55.0±12.3. Thirteen variables were entered into the regression equation. The three dimensions of social support (from family, from friends, from others than family/friends) were positively associated with resilience (all P<0.05), among which support from others than family/friends was the strongest (r = 0.388, P<0.001). Academic performance, activeness of participation in school activities, harmonious relationship with teachers/classmates, health over the last year, and regular physical exercise were positively associated with resilience (all P<0.05). Being female and being extremely worried about their own lives were negatively associated with resilience (both P<0.05). In conclusion, among Tibetan adolescent survivors to the Yushu earthquake of 2010, support from others than family/friends was the strongest positive factor associated with resilience, while being female and extreme worry about their own lives were negative factors. These results expand our knowledge regarding resilience in Tibetan adolescent disaster survivors.
Project description:This paper is aimed to document the observed social exclusion and discrimination in the outbreak of COVID-19 across the world and inside of China. Discrimination and social exclusion has occurred in various forms, while 25.11% of respondents overseas experienced discrimination in the breakout of COVID-19, and 90% of respondents inside of China exhibited discriminatory attitudes. The discrimination and social exclusion also lead to a range of damaging social outcomes. Thus, this is an urgent call for the inclusiveness in policy and media in the face of this public health emergency.