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      Social and Psychological Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Mediation Study


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          The ongoing pandemic has dramatically disrupted daily life, increasing the risk of developing psychiatric disorders and poor mental wellbeing. The compound effects of social, political and psychological stressors have increased psychological symptoms among adolescents and young people, with worries about COVID-19 playing a central role in the clinical course of their mental health problems caused by the pandemic. The aim of this cross-cultural study was to examine the social psychological effects of COVID-19 on adolescents’ and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in Ibero-American population. Participants involved 6,283 adolescents and young adults from five different Spanish-Speaking countries (83.7% female) aged between 12 and 30 years ( M = 18.79; SD = 3.48). Participants completed the Worries about COVID-19 and its Consequences Scale (W-COV), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Descriptive analyses, multivariate ANOVAs and Pearson correlations were performed, as well as Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) testing a mediational model. The results indicate cross-cultural difference in COVID-19 related worries, emotional symptoms and life satisfaction. Results from SEM confirmed the overall indirect effects of COVID-19 cases, political response and participants’ conditions during lockdown on depression, anxiety, stress and life satisfaction mediated by COVID-19 related worries. These findings suggest that the social psychological factors underlying psychological symptoms could be partly explained by increased worries about COVID-19 and its personal, social, economic and political consequences, which may offer guidance to policy makers and health services for safeguarding youth mental well-being.

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          Most cited references68

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          World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects.

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            The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) with the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories

            The psychometric properties of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) were evaluated in a normal sample of N = 717 who were also administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The DASS was shown to possess satisfactory psychometric properties, and the factor structure was substantiated both by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. In comparison to the BDI and BAI, the DASS scales showed greater separation in factor loadings. The DASS Anxiety scale correlated 0.81 with the BAI, and the DASS Depression scale correlated 0.74 with the BDI. Factor analyses suggested that the BDI differs from the DASS Depression scale primarily in that the BDI includes items such as weight loss, insomnia, somatic preoccupation and irritability, which fail to discriminate between depression and other affective states. The factor structure of the combined BDI and BAI items was virtually identical to that reported by Beck for a sample of diagnosed depressed and anxious patients, supporting the view that these clinical states are more severe expressions of the same states that may be discerned in normals. Implications of the results for the conceptualisation of depression, anxiety and tension/stress are considered, and the utility of the DASS scales in discriminating between these constructs is discussed.
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              Subjective well-being.

              Ed Diener (1984)

                Author and article information

                Psychol Rep
                Psychol Rep
                Psychological Reports
                SAGE Publications (Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA )
                9 May 2022
                9 May 2022
                : 00332941221100451
                [1-00332941221100451]Department of Personality, Psychological Assessment and Treatment, Ringgold 16781, universityUniversitat de València; , Valencia, Spain
                [2-00332941221100451]universityFundación Relaciones Inteligentes; , Santiago, Chile
                [3-00332941221100451]Department of Clinical Psychology, Ringgold 27892, universityUniversidad de Azuay; , Cuenca, Ecuador
                [4-00332941221100451]Department of Psychology, Ringgold 27989, universityUniversidad de La Sabana; , Chía, Colombia
                [5-00332941221100451]Department of Social Sciences, Ringgold 27764, universityUniversidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez; , Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
                Author notes
                [*]Inmaculada Montoya-Castilla, Department of Personality, Psychological Assessment and Treatment, University of Valencia, Av. de Blasco Ibáñez, 21, València 46010, Spain. Email: inmaculada.montoya@ 123456uv.es
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2022

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                Funded by: Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/100014440;
                Award ID: PSI2017-84005-R
                Funded by: The European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) from the European Union;
                Original Research Article
                Custom metadata

                trans-cultural,youth,life satisfaction,emotional symptoms,ibero-american population,structural equation modelling


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