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Optimism and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19

Lehnert, Marie (2021) Optimism and Well-Being in Times of COVID-19.

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Abstract:Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic people encounter COVID-19-related life changes which might influence their well-being. A decrease in well-being could be protected by psychological resources such as optimism. The present study explored the stability of optimism between 2019 and 2020. It was expected that optimistic people experienced more well-being in 2020 and less when optimism decreased. Moreover, it was hypothesized that governmental recommendations were perceived as effective by optimists and less effective by people whose optimism decreased. Further, the perceived effectiveness of governmental recommendations was expected to mediate the relation of optimism and well-being. Methods: Data from 2019 and 2020 came from the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS panel) with overall 6,817 participants and from two assembled studies regarding well-being and regarding the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Optimism was measured via the Life Orientation Test Revised, well-being with the Mental Health Continuum Short Form Revised, and the perceived effectiveness of the recommendations by using a questionnaire regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. T-tests for independent and paired samples, Pearson and Spearman correlations, and simple mediation analyses were conducted. Results: Optimism did not change between 2019 and 2020. Optimism in 2019 correlated positively with overall well-being in 2020, with each dimension and with the perceived effectiveness of the recommendations. An optimism change was neither related to well-being nor to the perceived effectiveness of the recommendations. The perceived effectiveness of the recommendations did not mediate between optimism or optimism change and well-being. Conclusion: The present study displayed support for stable dispositional optimism in adverse times. It replicated the protective effect of optimism on well-being and showed that optimists perceived the COVID-19 recommendations as more effective. Future research could expand the findings by studying further timepoints and distinctive mediating factors.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88161
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