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      The Moderating Roles of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility on the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Italy


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          The Moderating Roles of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility on the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Italy.

          Preliminary data suggest the COVID-19 pandemic has adverse effects on mental health in approximately a quarter of the general population. Few prior studies have identified contextual risk factors and no published study has explored factors that might moderate their adverse effects on mental health. Psychological flexibility is the cornerstone of psychological health and resiliency. This study investigated the roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility in moderating the effects of COVID-19 risk factors on three mental health outcomes: COVID-19 peritraumatic distress, anxiety, depression. We hypothesized that psychological flexibility would mitigate and psychological inflexibility would exacerbate the adverse effects of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. During the Italian national lockdown ( M=39.29 days, SD=11.26), 1,035 adults (79% female, M=37.5 years, SD=12.3) completed an online survey. Twelve COVID-19 risk factors were identified (e.g. lockdown duration, family infected by COVID-19, increase in domestic violence and in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours) and constituted a COVID-19 Lockdown Index. As predicted, results showed that after controlling for sociodemographic variables, global psychological flexibility and four of its sub-processes (self-as context, defusion, values, committed action), mitigated the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. In contrast and as expected, global psychological inflexibility and four of its sub-processes (lack of contact with present moment, fusion, self-as-content, lack of contact with personal values) exacerbated the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. Findings converge with those from the broader psychological flexibility literature providing robust support for the use of ACT-based interventions to promote psychological flexibility and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.


          • Psychological flexibility mitigated COVID-19 impacts on mental health outcomes.

          • Psychological inflexibility intensified COVID-19 pandemic lockdown risk factors.

          • Psychological flexibility increases resilience during COVID-19 mandatory lockdown.

          • Psychological flexibility interventions can promote mental health during a pandemic.

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          Most cited references39

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          Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science

          Summary The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health. We explore the psychological, social, and neuroscientific effects of COVID-19 and set out the immediate priorities and longer-term strategies for mental health science research. These priorities were informed by surveys of the public and an expert panel convened by the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the mental health research charity, MQ: Transforming Mental Health, in the first weeks of the pandemic in the UK in March, 2020. We urge UK research funding agencies to work with researchers, people with lived experience, and others to establish a high level coordination group to ensure that these research priorities are addressed, and to allow new ones to be identified over time. The need to maintain high-quality research standards is imperative. International collaboration and a global perspective will be beneficial. An immediate priority is collecting high-quality data on the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the whole population and vulnerable groups, and on brain function, cognition, and mental health of patients with COVID-19. There is an urgent need for research to address how mental health consequences for vulnerable groups can be mitigated under pandemic conditions, and on the impact of repeated media consumption and health messaging around COVID-19. Discovery, evaluation, and refinement of mechanistically driven interventions to address the psychological, social, and neuroscientific aspects of the pandemic are required. Rising to this challenge will require integration across disciplines and sectors, and should be done together with people with lived experience. New funding will be required to meet these priorities, and it can be efficiently leveraged by the UK's world-leading infrastructure. This Position Paper provides a strategy that may be both adapted for, and integrated with, research efforts in other countries.
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            The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China

            Highlights • Methods of guiding students to effectively and appropriately regulate their emotions during public health emergencies and avoid losses caused by crisis events have become an urgent problem for colleges and universities. Therefore, we investigated and analyzed the mental health status of college students during the epidemic for the following purposes. (1) To evaluate the mental situation of college students during the epidemic; (2) to provide a theoretical basis for psychological interventions with college students; and (3) to provide a basis for the promulgation of national and governmental policies.
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              Is Open Access

              A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people in the COVID-19 epidemic: implications and policy recommendations

              The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic emerged in Wuhan, China, spread nationwide and then onto half a dozen other countries between December 2019 and early 2020. The implementation of unprecedented strict quarantine measures in China has kept a large number of people in isolation and affected many aspects of people’s lives. It has also triggered a wide variety of psychological problems, such as panic disorder, anxiety and depression. This study is the first nationwide large-scale survey of psychological distress in the general population of China during the COVID-19 epidemic.

                Author and article information

                J Contextual Behav Sci
                J Contextual Behav Sci
                Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science
                Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Published by Elsevier Inc.
                20 July 2020
                20 July 2020
                [a ]The University of Queensland; School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia
                [b ]Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127 Bologna, Italy
                [c ]Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023 Cesena, Italy
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127 Bologna, Italy. giulia.landi7@ 123456unibo.it
                © 2020 Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                : 30 May 2020
                : 8 July 2020
                : 10 July 2020

                covid-19 pandemic,peritraumatic distress,depression,anxiety,psychological flexibility,psychological inflexibility,lockdown


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