Psychological Responses and Behaviors During the Initial Stages of COVID-19 Among General US Population
Background: The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has posed a major public health risk across the world. The threat of the virus and the resulting quarantine or “stay-home-orders,” likely impacted physical and mental health across the US population. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychological responses and behaviors during the initial stages of the COVID-19 epidemic in a US sample, applying the Common-Sense Model of illness to encourage a more comprehensive conceptualization of psychological and behavioral response to COVID-19. Methods: This study used Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a widely used data-sourcing tool, to assess the psychological impact of COVID-19 and quarantine for a large sample (N = 584) of US citizens, applying the Common-Sense Model of Illness as a way of predicting cognitive and emotional representations of the virus, engagement in precautionary and self-care behaviors, and appraisals of control. Conclusions: These results suggested that US citizens felt knowledgeable about COVID-19 and confident in precautionary behaviors to control the spread of COVID-19. However, while most US citizens reported normative levels of emotional distress in response to COVID-19, about 19-30% reported scores that indicated moderate to severe distress. Greater distress predicted decreased engagement in self-care behaviors and certain precautionary behaviors. People who engaged in both precautionary and self-care behaviors felt that they were helpful. While the results of this study are preliminary and further study is needed, these results suggest that Leventhal’s Common-Sense Model of Illness may be applicable to understanding the US citizen experience of COVID-19.
Tripp, Connor. (October 2021). Psychological Responses and Behaviors During the Initial Stages of COVID-19 Among General US Population (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9704.)
Tripp, Connor. Psychological Responses and Behaviors During the Initial Stages of COVID-19 Among General US Population. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, October 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9704. May 23, 2022.
Tripp, Connor, “Psychological Responses and Behaviors During the Initial Stages of COVID-19 Among General US Population” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, October 2021).
Tripp, Connor. Psychological Responses and Behaviors During the Initial Stages of COVID-19 Among General US Population [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; October 2021.
East Carolina University