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Title:Individual differences and pandemic impact on dimensions of depression and anxiety
Author(s):Marder, Maya Asako
Advisor(s):Heller, Wendy
Contributor(s):Miller, Gregory A
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Depression, Anxiety, Approach-Avoidance, Hierarchical Regression, COVID-19
Abstract:Background: The global scale of the COVID-19 pandemic provides a novel context in which to assess the role that individual-difference factors play in responses to prevalent environmental threats. Research demonstrating a range in vulnerability to psychological distress during this pandemic warranted evaluation of the impact of interactions between age, previously experienced traumatic events, approach/avoidance temperament, and the onset of COVID-related restrictions on self-reported depression and anxiety symptoms. Methods: Undergraduate participants (n=653) completed a battery of online questionnaires that assessed symptom profiles associated with distinct dimensions of depression and anxiety in order to examine relationships among individual differences, stressors, and self-reported symptom endorsements associated with these dimensions. A state-wide stay-at-home order effectively split the sample into groups who completed the questionnaires either on-campus under normal circumstances or off-campus under the added duress of COVID. Results: Hierarchical regressions revealed higher depressed mood scores after onset of COVID restrictions. Age interacted with onset of restrictions, such that older (20+) but not younger participants reported higher anxious apprehension and rumination after spring break. Those who endorsed experiencing a previous traumatic life event had higher levels of rumination and depressed mood, regardless of restriction onset. Additionally, approach temperament was negatively associated with depression symptoms, suggesting that encouraging approach coping would help to mitigate depression. Conclusions: Present results support the need to consider individual-difference factors and to distinguish dimensions of internalizing symptoms when assessing mental health vulnerability in response to environmental threats.
Issue Date:2021-03-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Maya Marder
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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