A1 Journal article (refereed)
Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19 : A Cross-Regional Analysis (2021)

Chong, Y. Y., Chien, W. T., Cheng, H. Y., Lamnisos, D., Ļubenko, J., Presti, G., Squatrito, V., Constantinou, M., Nicolaou, C., Papacostas, S., Aydin, G., Ruiz, F. J., Garcia-Martin, M. B., Obando-Posada, D. P., Segura-Vargas, M. A., Vasiliou, V. S., McHugh, L., Höfer, S., Baban, A., . . . Kassianos, A. P. (2021). Patterns of Psychological Responses among the Public during the Early Phase of COVID-19 : A Cross-Regional Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, Article 4143. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084143

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Chong, Yuen Yu; Chien, Wai Tong; Cheng, Ho Yu; Lamnisos, Demetris; Ļubenko, Jeļena; Presti, Giovambattista; Squatrito, Valeria; Constantinou, Marios; Nicolaou, Christiana; Papacostas, Savvas; et al.

Journal or series: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

ISSN: 1661-7827

eISSN: 1660-4601

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 14/04/2021

Volume: 18

Article number: 4143

Publisher: MDPI AG

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084143

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75802


This study aimed to compare the mediation of psychological flexibility, prosociality and coping in the impacts of illness perceptions toward COVID-19 on mental health among seven regions. Convenience sampled online survey was conducted between April and June 2020 from 9130 citizens in 21 countries. Illness perceptions toward COVID-19, psychological flexibility, prosociality, coping and mental health, socio-demographics, lockdown-related variables and COVID-19 status were assessed. Results showed that psychological flexibility was the only significant mediator in the relationship between illness perceptions toward COVID-19 and mental health across all regions (all ps = 0.001–0.021). Seeking social support was the significant mediator across subgroups (all ps range = <0.001–0.005) except from the Hong Kong sample (p = 0.06) and the North and South American sample (p = 0.53). No mediation was found for problem-solving (except from the Northern European sample, p = 0.009). Prosociality was the significant mediator in the Hong Kong sample (p = 0.016) and the Eastern European sample (p = 0.008). These findings indicate that fostering psychological flexibility may help to mitigate the adverse mental impacts of COVID-19 across regions. Roles of seeking social support, problem-solving and prosociality vary across regions.

Keywords: pandemics; COVID-19; psychological effects; mental well-being; mental health; resiliency (flexibility); prosociality

Free keywords: COVID-19; psychological flexibility; mental health; prosociality; survey

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:31