Indifferent, Responsible or Overwhelmed? An Online Survey About the Emotional State of Young Adults During the Early Phases of the Covid-19 Lockdown in Germany and Austria

This article was originally published here

Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2021 Nov 24. doi: 10.1055/a-1591-1305. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: In the COVID 19 pandemia compliance by the population with legally established preventive measures is of utmost importance to contain the spread of the virus. It can be assumed that these prevention measures are associated with specific burdens which are managed differently by the various population groups.

OBJECTIVES: The survey assesses not only the general public’s acceptance, concerns and burdens with regard to the prevention measures, but also the corresponding applied coping strategies depending on various socio-demographic and personality-specific factors.

METHOD: An online survey of N=3006 persons living in Germany and Austria during the early lockdown, by means of a self-constructured questionnaire, assesses concerns about the virus and the prevention measures taken by the governments. In addition, standardized scales were used: Stress Processing Questionnaire (SVF 78), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), Insecurity-Intolerance scale (UI-18) and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

RESULTS: Overall, a high level of acceptance of the required prevention measures was found. However, the shown emotional reactions were differing among the various population groups: Individuals between 18 and 29 years showed significantly higher negative emotional reactions compared to all other groups. A cluster analysis of this young population group revealed five groups that differed significantly in all surveyed personality factors and showed group-specific coping profiles.

DISCUSSION: Younger people are often described as a particularly vulnerable group in connection with the pandemic. The present study shows, however, that the group of the young adults should not be considered as homogeneous.

PMID:34820819 | DOI:10.1055/a-1591-1305