University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The COVID-19 pandemic has encompassed not only a public health crisis due to the range of symptoms and rapid spread associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it has also resulted in daily life changes due to public health mandates implemented to reduce the spread of the disease. The current study (N = 148) tested two hypotheses: that individuals experiencing increased stress due to the pandemic would be more likely to engage in protective behaviors that would limit exposure to the virus (e.g., limiting in-person contact) and that individuals experiencing increased stress would also engage in behaviors that may increase their risk for other health concerns (e.g., increased screen time increasing sedentary lifestyles). Using an online survey design with data collected from a college student sample, correlational analyses found that individuals reporting greater levels of stress were more likely to report reduced in-person contact and to identify COVID-19 as a public health threat. Stress did not relate to adherence to safety guidelines, however, considering COVID-19 as a public health threat did. Stress also correlated with increased screen time and caffeine consumption, but not alcohol or nicotine use. The results of the study highlight the importance of assessing both protective and maladaptive health behaviors when researching the relationship between public health concerns and stress.
Malik, Mahnoor and Ryerson, Nicole
"Impact of Pandemic Induced Stress on Health Behaviors Related to COVID-19 Susceptibility,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 29:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol29/iss1/13