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Demographic and health factors associated with pandemic anxiety in the context of COVID-19

McElroy, E; Patalay, P; Moltrecht, B; Shevlin, M; Shum, A; Creswell, C; Waite, P; (2020) Demographic and health factors associated with pandemic anxiety in the context of COVID-19. British Journal of Health Psychology 10.1111/bjhp.12470. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: The mental health consequences of COVID‐19 are predicted to have a disproportionate impact on certain groups. We aimed to develop a brief measure, the Pandemic Anxiety Scale, to capture the specific aspects of the pandemic that are provoking anxiety, and explore how these vary by health and demographic factors. Design: Data were from a convenience sample of parents (N = 4,793) and adolescents (N = 698) recruited in the first 6 weeks of lockdown. Methods: Factor analytic and IRT methods were used to validate the new measure in both parent and adolescent samples. Associations between scores on the new measure and age, gender, household income, and physical health status were explored using structural equation modelling (SEM). Results: Two factors were identified in both samples: disease anxiety (e.g., catching, transmitting the virus) and consequence anxiety (e.g., impact on economic prospects); and unique associations with health and demographic factors were observed. Conclusions: Anxieties due to the COVID‐19 are multifaceted, and the PAS is a short, reliable, and valid measure of these concerns. These anxieties are differentially associated with demographic, social, and health factors, which should be considered when developing strategies to mitigate the mental health impact of the pandemic.

Type: Article
Title: Demographic and health factors associated with pandemic anxiety in the context of COVID-19
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12470
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12470
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: COVID-19, anxiety, lockdown, mental health, pandemic, scale development, validation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10109259
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