Emotion regulation difficulties moderate the effects of pandemic-related factors on stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Towson University
Kristen Judy   

Towson University
Submission date: 2021-06-07
Final revision date: 2021-12-01
Acceptance date: 2021-12-04
Online publication date: 2022-04-01
Publication date: 2022-04-01
Arch Psych Psych 2022;24(1):32–41
Aim of the study:
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many people’s standard operating procedures in ways that require behavioral and psychological adjustments. Research indicates widespread stress and anxiety during the pandemic. What is still less known is which pandemic-influenced factors are most directly impacting psychological wellbeing, and whether emotion regulation abilities are moderating this impact.

Subject or material and methods:
182 participants were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to complete an online survey composed of assessments of perceived stress, state anxiety, emotion regulation abilities, and pandemic-related behavioral and lifestyle impacts.

Multiple behavioral and lifestyle impacts were significant predictors of both stress and state anxiety. Additionally, emotion regulation difficulty moderated the relationship between several pandemic-related predictors and both stress and anxiety.

The current study provides evidence that emotion regulation moderates the degree to which pandemic-related changes impact stress and state anxiety.

Emphasizing adaptive emotion regulation strategies may strengthen one’s ability to cope with these pandemic-related changes and increase mental wellbeing, although even these strategies might have limited efficacy during periods of greater disruption.