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Psycho-social factors associated with mental resilience in the Corona lockdown


Veer, Ilya M; Riepenhausen, Antje; Zerban, Matthias; Wackerhagen, Carolin; Puhlmann, Lara M C; Engen, Haakon; Köber, Göran; Bögemann, Sophie A; Weermeijer, Jeroen; et al; Marciniak, Marta A; Kleim, Birgit (2021). Psycho-social factors associated with mental resilience in the Corona lockdown. Translational Psychiatry, 11(1):67.

Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not only a threat to physical health but is also having severe impacts on mental health. Although increases in stress-related symptomatology and other adverse psycho-social outcomes, as well as their most important risk factors have been described, hardly anything is known about potential protective factors. Resilience refers to the maintenance of mental health despite adversity. To gain mechanistic insights about the relationship between described psycho-social resilience factors and resilience specifically in the current crisis, we assessed resilience factors, exposure to Corona crisis-specific and general stressors, as well as internalizing symptoms in a cross-sectional online survey conducted in 24 languages during the most intense phase of the lockdown in Europe (22 March to 19 April) in a convenience sample of N = 15,970 adults. Resilience, as an outcome, was conceptualized as good mental health despite stressor exposure and measured as the inverse residual between actual and predicted symptom total score. Preregistered hypotheses (osf.io/r6btn) were tested with multiple regression models and mediation analyses. Results confirmed our primary hypothesis that positive appraisal style (PAS) is positively associated with resilience (p < 0.0001). The resilience factor PAS also partly mediated the positive association between perceived social support and resilience, and its association with resilience was in turn partly mediated by the ability to easily recover from stress (both p < 0.0001). In comparison with other resilience factors, good stress response recovery and positive appraisal specifically of the consequences of the Corona crisis were the strongest factors. Preregistered exploratory subgroup analyses (osf.io/thka9) showed that all tested resilience factors generalize across major socio-demographic categories. This research identifies modifiable protective factors that can be targeted by public mental health efforts in this and in future pandemics.

Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not only a threat to physical health but is also having severe impacts on mental health. Although increases in stress-related symptomatology and other adverse psycho-social outcomes, as well as their most important risk factors have been described, hardly anything is known about potential protective factors. Resilience refers to the maintenance of mental health despite adversity. To gain mechanistic insights about the relationship between described psycho-social resilience factors and resilience specifically in the current crisis, we assessed resilience factors, exposure to Corona crisis-specific and general stressors, as well as internalizing symptoms in a cross-sectional online survey conducted in 24 languages during the most intense phase of the lockdown in Europe (22 March to 19 April) in a convenience sample of N = 15,970 adults. Resilience, as an outcome, was conceptualized as good mental health despite stressor exposure and measured as the inverse residual between actual and predicted symptom total score. Preregistered hypotheses (osf.io/r6btn) were tested with multiple regression models and mediation analyses. Results confirmed our primary hypothesis that positive appraisal style (PAS) is positively associated with resilience (p < 0.0001). The resilience factor PAS also partly mediated the positive association between perceived social support and resilience, and its association with resilience was in turn partly mediated by the ability to easily recover from stress (both p < 0.0001). In comparison with other resilience factors, good stress response recovery and positive appraisal specifically of the consequences of the Corona crisis were the strongest factors. Preregistered exploratory subgroup analyses (osf.io/thka9) showed that all tested resilience factors generalize across major socio-demographic categories. This research identifies modifiable protective factors that can be targeted by public mental health efforts in this and in future pandemics.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:21 January 2021
Deposited On:03 Feb 2021 12:14
Last Modified:06 Feb 2021 04:33
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2158-3188
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01150-4
PubMed ID:33479211

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