Exploring the impacts of COVID-19 related social distancing on loneliness, psychological needs and symptomatology
Loneliness may be a consequence of social distancing, a measure imposed by several governments to try to reduce the contagion of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Despite being necessary, this measure may have thus caused a rise in mental health issues, leading to higher psychological distress and symptomatology. Thus, it is also important to explore how loneliness relates to the regulation of psychological needs. This study aims to explore the relationships between loneliness, symptomatology, and the regulation of psychological needs. 142 individuals (M age=32.7, SD=10.9), answered self-report questionnaires in a cross-sectional design. Results show that loneliness is positively correlated with symptomatology and difficulties in the regulation of psychological needs, with these relationships being mediated by psychological distress and psychological well-being. We discuss our results with a focus on loneliness and related psychopathological symptomatology, as they seem to be core factors in the regulation of psychological needs.
Ascher, S. R. & Paquette, J. A. (2003). Loneliness and peer relations in childhood. Current Direction of Psychological Science, 12, 75-78. doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.01233
Balsamo, M., Carlucci, L., Sergi, M. R., Klein Murdock, K., & Saggino, A. (2015). The mediating role of early maladaptive schemas in the relation between co-rumination and depression in young adults. PLoS One, 10(10), e0140177. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140177
Banerjee, D. (2020). The COVID-19 outbreak: the crucial role the psychiatrists can play. Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 50, 102014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102014.
Barreira, J. (2016). Relações entre dificuldades de processamento emocional, regulação emocional, necessidades psicológicas, sintomatologia e bem-estar/distress. [Relationship between emotional processing difficulties, emotional regulation, psychological needs, symptomatology, and wellbeing/distress.] Master thesis in Faculty of Psychology of University of Lisbon.
Borys, S., & Perlman, D. (1985). Gender differences in loneliness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11(1), 63-74. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167285111006
Brooks, S.K., Webster, R.K., Smith, L.E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., Rubin, G.J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet. Advance online publication.
Cacioppo, J. T., & Cacioppo, S. (2018). The growing problem of loneliness. Lancet (London, England), 391(10119), 426. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30142-9
Canavarro, M. C. (1999). Inventário de sintomas psicopatológicos–BSI. In M. R. Simões, M. Gonçalves, L. S. Almeida
(Eds.), Testes e Provas Psicológicas em Portugal (Vol. II, pp. 95-109). Braga: APPORT/SHO.
Caspi, A., Harrington, H., Moffitt, T. E., Milne, B. J., & Poulton, R. (2006). Socially isolated children 20 years later: risk of cardiovascular disease. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160(8), 805-811. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.160.8.805
Castelo-Branco, M. (2016). Relações entre regulação emocional, regulação da satisfação das necessidades psicológicas, bemestar/distress psicológicos e sintomatologia. [Relationships between emotional regulation, regulation of the satisfaction of psychological needs, psychological well-being/distress and symptomatology]. Master thesis in the Faculty of Psychology of University of Lisbon.
Chan, S. S., Leung, D., Chui, H., Tiwari, A. F., Wong, E. M., Wong, D. C., Barnsteiner, J. H., & Lau, Y. L. (2007). Parental response to child’s isolation during the SARS outbreak. Ambulatory Pediatrics: the Official Journal of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, 7(5), 401-404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ambp.2007.06.002
Conde, E., Vasco, A. B., Ferreira, A., Romão, A. R., Silva, G., Sol, A., & Vargues-Conceição, C. (2012). Regulação da satisfação de necessidades psicológicas: Influência no bemestar e distress psicológicos e na sintomatologia de acordo com o modelo de complementaridade paradigmática (Unpublished manuscript). Lisbon: Faculdade de Psicologia da Universidade de Lisboa.
Conversano, C., Marchi, L., & Miniati, M. (2020). Psychological distress among healthcare professionals involved in the COVID-19 emergency: Vulnerability and resilience factors. Clinical Neuropsychiatry: Journal of Treatment Evaluation, 17, 94-96.
Cornwell, E. Y., & Waite, L. J. (2009). Social disconnectedness, perceived isolation, and health among older adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 50(1), 31-48. https://doi.org/10.1177/002214650905000103
Dickerson, D., (2020). Seven tips to manage your mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. Nature. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00933-5.
Faustino, B., & Vasco, A.B. (2020a). Schematic functioning, interpersonal dysfunctional cycles and cognitive fusion in the complementary paradigmatic perspective: Analysis of a clinical sample. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 1(50), 47-55. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-019-09422-x
Faustino, B., & Vasco, A.B. (2020b). Early maladaptive schemas and cognitive fusion on the regulation of psychological needs. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 1(50), 105-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-019-09446-3
Faustino, B., & Vasco, A.B. (2020c). Relationships between emotional processing difficulties and early maladaptive
schemas on the regulation of psychological needs. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-019-09446-3
Faustino, B., Vasco, A.B., Silva A. N., & Marques, T.(2020). Relationships between emotional schemas, mindfulness, self-compassion and unconditional self-acceptance on the regulation of psychological needs. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 23(2), 145-156. doi:10.4081/ripppo.2020.442
Fonseca, J. M. (2012). Relação entre a regulação da satisfação das necessidades psicológicas, funcionamento esquemático e alexithymia. [Relationship between the regulation of satisfaction of psychological needs, schematic functioning and alexithymia]. Lisbon: Faculdade de Psicologia.
Gerino, E., Rollè, L., Sechi, C., & Brustia, P. (2017). Loneliness, resilience, mental health, and quality of life in old age: a structural equation model. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 2003. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02003
Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.
Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 40(2), 218-227.
Hawkley, L. C., Browne, M. W., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2005). How can I connect with thee? Let me count the ways. Psychological Science, 16(10), 798-804. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01617.x
Hawryluck, L., Gold, W. L., Robinson, S., Pogorski, S., Galea, S., & Styra, R. (2004). SARS control and psychological effects of quarantine, Toronto, Canada. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10(7), 1206-1212. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1007.030703
Hiremath, P., Kowshika, S., Manjunath, M., & Shettara, M. (2020). COVID 19: Impact of lock-down on mental health
and tips to overcome, Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 51. Advance online publication. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.
Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., Baker, M., Harris, T., & Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: a meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237.
Kamara, S., Walder, A., Duncan, J., Kabbedijk, A., Hughes, P., & Muana, A. (2017). Mental health care during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 95(12), 842-847. https://doi.org/10.2471/BLT.16.190470
Kenny, D. A. (2017). MedPower: An interactive tool for the estimation of power in tests of mediation [Computer software]. Available from https://davidakenny.shinyapps.io/Med-Power/.
Liu, X., Kakade, M., Fuller, C. J., Fan, B., Fang, Y., Kong, J., Guan, Z., & Wu, P. (2012). Depression after exposure to
stressful events: lessons learned from the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic. Comprehensive Psychiatry,
(1), 15-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2011.02.003
Liu, Y., Ning, Z., Chen, Y., Guo, M., Liu,Y., Gali, N. K., Sun, L., Duan,Y., Cai, J., Westerdahl, D., Liu, X., Xu, K., Ho, K.-
F., Kan, H., Fu, Q., & Lan, K. (2020). Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals. Nature 582, 557-
Maes, M., Qualter, P., Vanhalst, J., Van den Noortgate, W., & Goossens, L. (2019). Gender differences in loneliness across the lifespan: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Personality, 33(6), 642-654. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2220
Masi, C. M., Chen, H. Y., Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2011). A meta-analysis of interventions to reduce loneliness. Personality and Social Psychology Review: an Official Journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc, 15(3), 219-266. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868310377394
Martins, R. (2016). Relações entre esquemas interpessoais, mecanismos de defesa, necessidades psicológicas, sintomatologia, bem-estar e distress psicológico. [Relations between interpersonal schemes, mechanisms of defense, psychological needs, symptomatology, well-being and psychological distress]. Master thesis in Faculty of Psychology of University of Lisbon.
Marazziti, D., Pozza, A., Di Giuseppe, M., & Conversano, C. (2020). The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 pandemic
in Italy: a lesson for mental health prevention in the first severely hit European country. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000687
Moukaddam. N. (2019). Fears, outbreaks, and pandemics: lessons learned. Psychiatric Times 26, (11). https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/fears-outbreaks-and-pandemics-lessons-learned
Neto, F. (2014). Psychometric analysis of the short-form UCLA Loneliness Scale (ULS-6) in older adults. European Journal of Ageing, 11, 313-319. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-014-0312-1
Prout, T. A., Zilcha-Mano, S., Aafjes-van Doorn, K., Békés, V., Christman-Cohen, I., Whistler, K., Kui, T., & Di Giuseppe,
M. (2020). Identifying predictors of psychological distress during COVID-19: a machine learning approach. Frontiers
in Psychology, 11, 586202. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.586202
Qiu, J., Shen, B., Zhao, M., Wang, Z., Xie, B., & Xu, Y. (2020). A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people in the COVID-19 epidemic: implications and policy recommendations. General Psychiatry, 33(2), e100213. https://doi.org/10.1136/gpsych-2020-100213
Ribeiro, J. L. (2001). Mental health inventory: Um Estudo de adaptação à população Portuguesa. Psicologia, Saúde e Doença, 2(1), 77-99.
Roelofs, J., Lee, C., Ruijten, T., & Lobbestael, J. (2011). The mediating role of early maladaptive schemas in the relation between quality of attachment relationships and symptoms of depression in adolescents. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 39(4), 471-479. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1352465811000117
Roy, D., Tripathy, S., Kar, S. H., Sharma, N., Verma, S. N. & Kaushal. V. (2020). Study of knowledge, attitude, anxiety &
perceived mental healthcare need in Indian population during COVID-19 pandemic. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102083.
Russell, D. W. (1996). UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3): Reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66(1), 20-40. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa6601_2
Russell, D., Cutrona, C. E., Rose, J., & Yurko, K. (1984). Social and emotional loneliness: An examination of Weiss’s typology of loneliness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(6), 1313-1321. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-
Salari, N., Hosseinian-Far, A., Jalali, R., Vaisi-Raygani, A., Rasoulpoor, S., Mohammadi, M., Rasoulpoor, S., & Khaledi-
Paveh, B. (2020). Prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Globalization and Health, 16(1), 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-020-00589-w
Schatzman, M. (2009). Early maladaptive schemas mediating the relationship between perceptions of early parenting and depression and anxiety. Theses and Dissertations. 668. https://rdw.rowan.edu/etd/668
Shankar, A., McMunn, A., Banks, J., & Steptoe, A. (2011). Loneliness, social isolation, and behavioral and biological
health indicators in older adults. Health Psychology, 30(4), 377.
Sol, A., & Vasco, A. B. (2017). Relationships between the regulation of psychological needs satisfaction and symptomatology. Psicologia, 31, 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.17575/rpsicol.v31i1.1135
Sousa, R. D., Rodrigues, A. M., Gregório, M. J., Branco, J. C., Gouveia, M. J., Canhão, H., & Dias, S. S. (2017). Anxiety
and depression in the Portuguese older adults: Prevalence and associated factors. Frontiers in Medicine, 4, 196.
Vasco, A. B., Conceição, N., Silva, A. N., Ferreira, J. F., & Vaz-Velho, C. (2018). O (meta)modelo de complementaridade paradigmática (MCP). In I. Leal (Ed.), Psicoterapias. Lisbon: Pactor. [Paradigmatic Complementarity Metamodel].
Wang, J., Lloyd-Evans, B., Giacco, D., Forsyth, R., Nebo, C., Mann, F., & Johnson, S. (2017). Social isolation in mental health: a conceptual and methodological review. Soc Psychiatry Epidemiology, 52, 1451-1461. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-017-1446-1
Weiss, R. S. (1973). Loneliness: The experience of emotional and social isolation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
World Health Organization (WHO), 2020a. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report - 69. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization (WHO), 2020b. Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak, 18 March 2020. Geneva: World Health Organization.
Zandifar, A., & Badrfam, R. (2020). Iranian mental health during the COVID-19 epidemic. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 51, 101990. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.101990.
Ziegler, T., Mamahit, A., & Cox, N. J. (2018). 65 years of influenza surveillance by a World Health Organization-coordinated global network. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 12(5), 558-565. https://doi.org/10.1111/irv.12570
- Abstract views: 1765
- PDF: 116
Copyright (c) 2020 Bruno Faustino, António Branco Vasco, João Delgado, António Farinha-Fernandes, José Carlos Guerreiro
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.