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Covid-19 responses of young adults : to what extent is personality associated with psychological well-being, loneliness and depressive moods of young adults during the Covid-19 social distancing measures?

Ganzer, L. (2021) Covid-19 responses of young adults : to what extent is personality associated with psychological well-being, loneliness and depressive moods of young adults during the Covid-19 social distancing measures?

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Abstract:Background: As a reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, German and Dutch governments implemented confinement measures in order to prevent the virus from spreading. Although it is indispensable to apply these measures, they are straining the population’s mental well-being with still unforeseeable consequences, especially regarding young adults. This study examined young adults’ perception of (i) the change in mental well-being before, compared to during, the social distancing measures and (ii) the extent to which personality traits correlate with mental well-being during the Covid-19 distancing measures. Methods: A cross sectional survey design was used, and respondents were gathered by applying snowball sampling via social media. The questionnaire assessed personality (Ten-Item Personality Inventory, TIPI), psychological well-being (Psychological Well-being Scale), loneliness (Loneliness Scale) and depressive moods (Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire, SMFQ) for two recall periods. Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to test the change in mental well-being between the situation before and during the social distancing measures. Spearman’s correlations determined the association between the personality traits and psychological well-being, loneliness and depressive moods during the Covid-19 social distancing measures. Results: The sample included 145 participants (Mean (SD) age = 22 (1.53); 66% female) who showed deteriorated psychological well-being (p < .001), loneliness (p = .001) and depressive moods (p < .001) during the distancing measures. Extraversion and neuroticism showed the strongest correlations with the outcome measures of psychological well-being, loneliness and depression. A high score on extraversion was weakly associated with lower psychological well-being (p < .001) and social loneliness (p = .001) compared to a lower score on the trait. A high score on neuroticism was moderately associated with a lower score on psychological well-being (p < .001), overall loneliness (p < .001) and emotional loneliness (p < .001) and weakly associated with depressive moods (p < .001) compared to a lower magnitude of the trait. Conclusion: Based on the results it can be concluded that the confinement measures during the Covid-19 pandemic have strained young adults on different levels as psychological well-being, loneliness and depressive moods deteriorated. While extraversion was mostly related to worse psychological well-being and social loneliness, neuroticism was mainly associated negatively with psychological well-being, overall loneliness and emotional loneliness. Therefore, personality-tailored concepts could be useful for health education and coaching of young adults in order to reduce consequences of the containment measures for mental well-being.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87478
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