Title

Cross-Cultural Associations of COVID-19 Knowledge and Psychological Distress

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Experimental Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Esther Malm

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

The psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the subject of much research since the beginning of the outbreak. Research suggests that the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders have increased significantly during the pandemic (Ettman et al., 2020; Santabárbara et al., 2020), and individuals who are more knowledgeable about the pandemic are more likely to be psychologically distressed (Saravanan et al., 2020). This study examined if there were cross-cultural differences in these patterns. Although past research has indicated that the prevalence of psychological disorders differs cross-culturally (Asnaani et al., 2010), international differences in the influence of COVID-19 knowledge on psychological distress have not been examined.

Therefore, the current study examined if there were cross-cultural differences in the relationship between COVID-19 knowledge and psychological symptoms. Participants were sampled from the US (N=265; Mage=37.13; SDage=12.40; 61.9% Male; 75.5% Caucasian), Norway (N=99; 46.5% 18-25 years old; 55.6% Male), and Ghana (N=418; 51.2% 18-25 years old; 59% Male), who participated in online and paper surveys (Ghana only). Participants indicated the extent to which they were knowledgeable in six areas related to COVID-19 (e.g., “Symptoms of COVID-19”), and the extent to which they had experienced somatic, anxiety, and depressive symptoms over the past three months. The three countries were dummy coded and moderation analyses were conducted to determine if there were significant interactions between country and COVID-19 knowledge in predicting psychological symptoms. Results indicated a significant interaction between COVID-19 knowledge and depressive symptoms only, when comparing US with Norway and Ghana with Norway.

Spring Scholars Week 2021 Event

Psychology: Completed Projects

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Cross-Cultural Associations of COVID-19 Knowledge and Psychological Distress

The psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the subject of much research since the beginning of the outbreak. Research suggests that the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders have increased significantly during the pandemic (Ettman et al., 2020; Santabárbara et al., 2020), and individuals who are more knowledgeable about the pandemic are more likely to be psychologically distressed (Saravanan et al., 2020). This study examined if there were cross-cultural differences in these patterns. Although past research has indicated that the prevalence of psychological disorders differs cross-culturally (Asnaani et al., 2010), international differences in the influence of COVID-19 knowledge on psychological distress have not been examined.

Therefore, the current study examined if there were cross-cultural differences in the relationship between COVID-19 knowledge and psychological symptoms. Participants were sampled from the US (N=265; Mage=37.13; SDage=12.40; 61.9% Male; 75.5% Caucasian), Norway (N=99; 46.5% 18-25 years old; 55.6% Male), and Ghana (N=418; 51.2% 18-25 years old; 59% Male), who participated in online and paper surveys (Ghana only). Participants indicated the extent to which they were knowledgeable in six areas related to COVID-19 (e.g., “Symptoms of COVID-19”), and the extent to which they had experienced somatic, anxiety, and depressive symptoms over the past three months. The three countries were dummy coded and moderation analyses were conducted to determine if there were significant interactions between country and COVID-19 knowledge in predicting psychological symptoms. Results indicated a significant interaction between COVID-19 knowledge and depressive symptoms only, when comparing US with Norway and Ghana with Norway.