This study examined the role of different psychological coping mechanisms in mental and physical health during the initial phases of the COVID-19 crisis with an emphasis on meaning-centered coping.
A total of 11,227 people from 30 countries across all continents participated in the study and completed measures of psychological distress (depression, stress, and anxiety), loneliness, well-being, and physical health, together with measures of problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, and a measure called the Meaning-centered Coping Scale (MCCS) that was developed in the present study. Validation analyses of the MCCS were performed in all countries, and data were assessed by multilevel modeling (MLM).
The MCCS showed a robust one-factor structure in 30 countries with good test-retest, concurrent and divergent validity results. MLM analyses showed mixed results regarding emotion and problem-focused coping strategies. However, the MCCS was the strongest positive predictor of physical and mental health among all coping strategies, independently of demographic characteristics and country-level variables.
The findings suggest that the MCCS is a valid measure to assess meaning-centered coping. The results also call for policies promoting effective coping to mitigate collective suffering during the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers recorded the growth of cyberchondria as a tendency to excessive and repetitive search for information about the symptoms of various diseases on the Internet. The aim of this study was to adapt the Russian version of the Cyberchondria Severity Scale-12 (CSS-12). The cross-sectional study involved 624 respondents who completed the Russian-language versions of the CSS-12 and the Symptom Check List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R). The confirmatory factor analysis revealed the bifactor structure of the Russian CSS-12, suggesting both the general factor of cyberchondria and specific factors of excessiveness, distress, reassurance, and compulsion. The Russian CSS-12 demonstrated high internal reliability with an α-Cronbach coefficient of 0.95 for the total score. The convergent validity of the Russian CSS-12 was confirmed due to its correlations with psychopathology scores according to the SCL-90-R. The analysis of socio-demographic differences in the Russian CSS-12 indicated the absence of gender specificity of cyberchondria, but emphasized the negative links between cyberchondria and the age of respondents. The findings showed that the Russian CSS-12 is a reliable and valid instrument for population-based research of cyberchondria and needs further psychometric examination on various clinical samples.
Background: Although there are increasing concerns on mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, no large-scale population-based studies have examined the associations of risk perception of COVID-19 with emotion and subsequent mental health. Methods: This study analysed cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the PsyCorona Survey that included 54,845 participants from 112 countries, of which 23,278 participants are representative samples of 24 countries in terms of gender and age. Specification curve analysis (SCA) was used to examine associations of risk perception of COVID-19 with emotion and self-rated mental health. This robust method considers all reasonable model specifications to avoid subjective analytical decisions while accounting for multiple testing. Results: All 162 multilevel linear regressions in the SCA indicated that higher risk perception of COVID-19 was significantly associated with less positive or more negative emotions (median standardised β=-0.171, median SE=0.004, P<0.001). Specifically, regressions involving economic risk perception and negative emotions revealed stronger associations. Moreover, risk perception at baseline survey was inversely associated with subsequent mental health (standardised β=-0.214, SE=0.029, P<0.001). We further used SCA to explore whether this inverse association was mediated by emotional distress. Among the 54 multilevel linear regressions of mental health on risk perception and emotion, 42 models showed a strong mediation effect, where no significant direct effect of risk perception was found after controlling for emotion (P>0.05). Limitations: Reliance on self-reported data. Conclusions: Risk perception of COVID-19 was associated with emotion and ultimately mental health. Interventions on reducing excessive risk perception and managing emotional distress could promote mental health.
This article presents a short research report on the relationship between perceived antagonism in social relations measured using the Belief in a Zero-Sum Game (BZSG) scale, life satisfaction, and positive and negative affect. Given that individuals who believe that life is like a zero-sum game are likely to perceive their daily interactions with others as unfair, we expected that individuals with high BZSG experience more negative affect and fewer positive one, resulting in a lower satisfaction with life. In addition, we examined whether country-level BZSG may play a moderating role in these associations. Data were collected from student samples (N = 7146) in 35 countries. Multilevel modelling revealed that perceived social antagonism in social relations is negatively associated with satisfaction with life and that this relationship is mediated by both positive and negative affect at the individual level. The relation of individual BZSG and negative affect on satisfaction with life were weaker in societies with higher country-level BZSG, suggesting that the effects of BZSG may be less detrimental in these countries. These findings extend previous knowledge about predictors of life satisfaction and suggest that social beliefs might also be an important factor that influences subjective well-being. The contribution of the study is that the separate treatment of life satisfaction and positive and negative affect may be helpful in many research situations, particularly from a cross-cultural perspective.
Previous research has firmly established the efficacy of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in helping individuals to overcome their alcohol addiction. However, there is a large diversity in the sizes of these effects and it is not clear how the different MI strategies and techniques contribute to treatment outcomes. We compared the efficacy of three MI intervention plans using a randomized matched pre-test/post-test design spanning a 10-week period. The participants were 45 French individuals (29 male and 16 female) seeking treatment for alcohol dependence who received 5 sessions of MI. Participants from all groups reported moderate to strong changes (d > 0.80) in alcohol consumption, temptation to drink, abstinence self-efficacy, internal motivation to change behavior, and well-being (anxiety, depression, satisfaction with life, and self-esteem). ANCOVA analyses showed that the changes in alcohol consumption, temptation to drink, and abstinence self-efficacy were weakest in the group that only used the internal motivation strategies and strongest in the group using a combination of the internal motivation strategies, decisional balance, and self-efficacy strategies. The findings support the efficacy of a combination of three MI strategies. Future research comparing the effects of different MI intervention plans could help to ensure consistently effective alcohol addiction treatment.
Ehlers-Danlos-Syndromes (EDS) is a group of hereditary, chronic and potentially disabling conditions. Few studies have tested the effects of psychological interventions to increase well-being in this population. We hypothesized that Positive Psychology Interventions (PPI), first applied to healthy and mentally ill subjects, can also be useful for people with somatic conditions and conducted a study to evaluate the efficacy of a five-week online PPI designed to improve well-being in EDS patients. A sample of 132 EDS patients were allocated to three groups: assigned PPI, self-selected PPI, and waitlist control-group (WLC). Measures of positive and negative affect, pain disability, fatigue, and life satisfaction were administered before program start, six weeks later, and one month later. Satisfaction with the program was also evaluated. The results revealed that participants in the self-selected PPI-group, but not in the assigned PPI group, reported significantly lower levels of fatigue and higher levels of positive affect and life satisfaction compared to WLC after six weeks. There were no effects on negative affect and pain disability measures. Finally, 77% of the participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the program. These findings confirm and extend previous research by showing the efficacy of PPI for people with chronic illness under the condition that individuals can choose the program content. From a healthcare perspective, online PPIs could complement treatments aimed at symptom reduction and increase well-being in patients with EDS.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents threats, such as severe disease and economic hardship, to people of different ages. These threats can also be experienced asymmetrically across age groups, which could lead to generational differences in behavioral responses to reduce the spread of the disease. We report a survey conducted across 56 societies (N = 58,641), and tested pre-registered hypotheses about how age relates to (a) perceived personal costs during the pandemic, (b) prosocial COVID-19 responses (e.g., social distancing), and (c) support for behavioral regulations (e.g., mandatory quarantine, vaccination). We further tested whether the relation between age and prosocial COVID-19 responses can be explained by perceived personal costs during the pandemic. Overall, we found that older people perceived more costs of contracting the virus, but less costs in daily life due to the pandemic. However, age displayed no clear, robust associations with prosocial COVID-19 responses and support for behavioral regulations. We discuss the implications of this work for understanding the potential intergenerational conflicts of interest that could occur during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N = 25,435). The main predictors were (1) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (2) perceived risk to suffer economic losses due to coronavirus, and (3) their interaction effect. Individual and country-level variables were added as covariates in multilevel regression models. We examined compliance with various preventive health behaviors and support for strict containment policies. Results show that perceived economic risk consistently predicted mitigation behavior and policy support—and its effects were positive. Perceived health risk had mixed effects. Only two significant interactions between health and economic risk were identified—both positive.
Background. The benefits of mindfulness interventions are well-known, but their challenges and individual differences in reactions to these challenges are much less clear. Methods. The study used a mixed-methods design to investigate the individual trajectories of daily experiences during meditation in a sample of novice volunteers participating in a three-week, distance-based, guided meditation intervention (N = 175). Results. Multilevel modelling revealed individual differences in the change trajectories of the experiences of effort, meaning, and boredom during meditation, indicating that meditation gradually became less effortful, less boring, more interesting, and more important over the three weeks. The individual differences in the levels of these experiences and their change trends were associated with baseline differences in well-being, reflective processes, self-management, and self-control skills, as well as autonomous motivation to engage in the course. Conclusions. Individuals who are initially more autonomous and mindful find it easier to engage with online mindfulness interventions and draw more benefits from the process, whereas those with lower self-regulation skills or higher proneness to rumination are more likely to experience mindfulness as effortful and boring, and, eventually, to give it up.
What role does intergroup contact play in promoting support for social change toward greater social equality? Drawing on the needs-based model of reconciliation, we theorized that when inequality between groups is perceived as illegitimate, disadvantaged group members will experience a need for empowerment and advantaged group members a need for acceptance. When intergroup contact satisfies each group’s needs, it should result in more mutual support for social change. Using four sets of survey data collected through the Zurich Intergroup Project in 23 countries, we tested several preregistered predictions, derived from the above reasoning, across a large variety of operationalizations. Two studies of disadvantaged groups (Ns = 689 ethnic minority members in Study 1 and 3,382 sexual/gender minorities in Study 2) support the hypothesis that, after accounting for the effects of intergroup contact and perceived illegitimacy, satisfying the need for empowerment (but not acceptance) during contact is positively related to support for social change. Two studies with advantaged groups (Ns = 2,937 ethnic majority members in Study 3 and 4,203 cis-heterosexual individuals in Study 4) showed that, after accounting for illegitimacy and intergroup contact, satisfying the need for acceptance (but also empowerment) is positively related to support for social change. Overall, findings suggest that intergroup contact is compatible with efforts to promote social change when group-specific needs are met. Thus, to encourage support for social change among both disadvantaged and advantaged group members, it is essential that, besides promoting mutual acceptance, intergroup contact interventions also give voice to and empower members of disadvantaged groups.
Background. The construct of attributional style refers to specific ways people explain events, both positive and negative. Optimistic attributional style (OAS) for negative events has been shown to be reliably associated with low depression (Peterson et al., 1985; Sweeney et al., 1986; Hu et al., 2015). On the contrary, optimistic attributional style for positive events is a separate phenomenon associated mainly with well-being, but these relationships remain underexplored.
Objective. This study aims to explore the predictive power of OAS-Positive, its relationships with subjective well-being and possible personality mediators related to positive functioning. It was hypothesized that abilities to feel grateful and savor positive life events mediate the relationship between optimistic thinking about positive outcomes and subjective well-being.
Design. A сross-sectional design was implemented. Participants were 271 adults from Moscow and Moscow Region (M age = 32.42, SD=12.9).
Results. The results of regression analysis show that both life satisfaction and subjective happiness depend on gratitude, self-esteem, and dispositional optimism, but only happiness is predicted by savoring the moment. The results of structural equation modeling are consistent with the hypothesis as the structural model reveals that the effects of OAS-Positive on subjective well-being are fully mediated by gratitude, savoring the moment, as well as self-esteem and dispositional optimism. The mediated effects of OAS-Negative through self-esteem and gratitude are inconsistent and its total indirect effect on subjective well-being is not significant.
Conclusion. This research provides preliminary evidence that optimistic thinking about positive life events promotes subjective well-being through a system of positive psychological traits and attitudes which include gratitude and savoring the moment.
Self-concordant goals are goals which represent a people’s enduring interests and self-defining values (Sheldon, 2002). People pursuing more self-concordant goals evidence higher subjective well-being, as shown in participants from both Western and non-Western cultures (Sheldon et al., 2004). In a different literature, attributional style research has found that tendencies to provide optimistic explanations of life events also predict well-being. We hypothesized that people pursuing self-concordant goals would make more optimistic attributions about goal-specific outcomes, and that this tendency would help explain the link between self-concordance and well-being. Structural equation and multiple group modelling of 253 American and 230 Russian university students found support for these hypotheses. Self-concordance primarily predicted optimism following positive outcomes (that they will recur), not following negative outcomes (that they will end), and also, the mediational pattern was slightly different in the Russian than in the American sample. The results suggest that when people choose life-goals that fit their interests and values, they derive resources including the ability to interpret positive goal-outcomes in an optimistic way. This helps to explain why pursuing such goals makes them happy.
The Dark Triad (i.e., narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism) has garnered intense attention over the past 15 years. We examined the structure of these traits’ measure—the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (DTDD)—in a sample of 11,488 participants from three W.E.I.R.D. (i.e., North America, Oceania, Western Europe) and five non-W.E.I.R.D. (i.e., Asia, Middle East, non-Western Europe, South America, sub-Saharan Africa) world regions. The results confirmed the measurement invariance of the DTDD across participants’ sex in all world regions, with men scoring higher than women on all traits (except for psychopathy in Asia, where the difference was not significant). We found evidence for metric (and partial scalar) measurement invariance within and between W.E.I.R.D. and non-W.E.I.R.D. world regions. The results generally support the structure of the DTDD.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a global health crisis. Consequently, many countries have adopted restrictive measures that caused a substantial change in society. Within this framework, it is reasonable to suppose that a sentiment of societal discontent, defined as generalized concern about the precarious state of society, has arisen. Literature shows that collectively experienced situations can motivate people to help each other. Since societal discontent is conceptualized as a collective phenomenon, we argue that it could influence intention to help others, particularly those who suffer from coronavirus. Thus, in the present study, we aimed (a) to explore the relationship between societal discontent and intention to help at the individual level and (b) to investigate a possible moderating effect of societal discontent at the country level on this relationship. To fulfil our purposes, we used data collected in 42 countries (N = 61,734) from the PsyCorona Survey, a cross-national longitudinal study. Results of multilevel analysis showed that, when societal discontent is experienced by the entire community, individuals dissatisfied with society are more prone to help others. Testing the model with longitudinal data (N = 3,817) confirmed our results. Implications for those findings are discussed in relation to crisis management. Please refer to the Supplementary Material section to find this article's Community and Social Impact Statement.
Student academic failure is one of the most important problems in higher education institutes in many countries of the world. This research was performed to investigate the role of psychological adjustment/maladjustment in student academic success among Russian-speaking students. The psychological maladjustment of students can be defined as the inability to meet their own needs in the learning process and the successful functioning in social circumstances. The participants were 103 Russian-speaking students (73 females and 30 males) aged 16 to 21 years (mean=18.12, standard deviation=1.13). The students completed measures for assessing adolescent apathy, alienation from study, student engagement, academic motivation, perceived stress, academic control, and boredom proneness. All participants received the course credit for participation. The results of one-way ANOVA analysis showed that adolescent apathy is a risk factor for student academic failure, because the higher scores of adolescent apathy students demonstrate when they start their first year in a higher education institute, the lower average scores for the first examinations session. This analysis also proved that alienation from study, academic motivation, perceived stress, academic control, and boredom proneness do not affect student academic failure. There were no statistically significant gender and age differences on all study variables. The findings show that adolescent apathy may be a significant student characteristic. This knowledge can become the basis for preventive and interventional measures related to the academic failure of students.
The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between job apathy and organizational well-being among employees of a Russian organization. Using the example of 167 Russian-speaking working respondents, it was shown that job apathy is statistically significantly positively correlated with professional burnout, as well as negatively – with work engagement and job satisfaction. The results of this study can be used in the practice of assessment and consultation in labor psychology and human resource management.
Worldview beliefs related to freedom vs. determinacy in the surrounding and inner world are the focus of active discussion and research in psychological science. The paper presents the results of approbation and construct validation of the Russian-language version of the freedom/determinism beliefs inventory FAD–Plus by D. Paulhus and J. Carey. The results of the research on the sample of first-year psychology students of Moscow universities (N = 372) confirmed the original four-factor structure of the questionnaire, which embraces four scales: Fatalistic determinism (Cronbach’s α = 0.793), Freedom (Cronbach’s α = 0.777), Unpredictability (Cronbach’s α = 0.689), Scientific determinism (Cronbach’s α = 0.675). For the construct validation of the questionnaire, correlations of the inventory scales with a number of variables referring to well-being, motivation and self-regulation were considered, including dispositional and attributional optimism, subjective well-being and emotional state, meaningfulness of life and attitudes to one’s life, psychological needs satisfaction, personal responsibility. The results suggest that the Russian-language version of the method of belief in freedom/determinism has good psychometric characteristics and can be used as a helpful research instrument. Correlational analysis revealed positive relationships between the belief in freedom and multiple characteristics of well-being: satisfaction with life, positive emotions, optimism, meaningfulness of life, attitudes to one’s life, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, personal responsibility and sensitivity to feedback. Other types of beliefs showed weaker correlations with psychological characteristics. The belief in unpredictability was negatively associated with positive emotions, attributive optimism, meaningfulness of life, awareness of life, responsibility and sensitivity to feedback. The belief in scientific determinism had negative correlations with attributional optimism in a situation of success, activity regarding one’s life, sensitivity to feedback and satisfaction of the need for competence. Belief in fatalistic determinism is in many ways similar to scientific determinism in terms of correlations, but unlike the latter, it also positively correlated with satisfaction with life and a sense of harmony with one’s life.
Objective. This study was aimed to adapt the Russian version of the PTSD Symptom Scale – Self-Report (PSS-SR) on a sample of healthcare workers providing medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Material and method. The sample consisted of 177 healthcare workers from several medical organizations (Ekaterinburg, Russia). Participants completed the Russian versions of the PSS-SR, Impact of Event Scale (IES-R), and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21).
Results. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed a bifactor structure of the Russian version of the PSS-SR, evaluating both the posttraumatic symptomatology total score and three main groups of PTSD symptoms in accordance with the DSM-IV. The internal reliability of the measure was supported by the acceptable values of the α-Cronbach's coefficients for the re-experiencing (α = 0.81), avoidance (α = 0.78), increased arousal (α = 0.78) scales, and the PTSD total score (α = 0.90). Positive correlations between the PSS-SR, IES-R, and DASS-21 scores confirmed the convergent validity of the measure.
Conclusion. The Russian version of the PSS-SR is a reliable and valid instrument assessing the PTSD symptoms.