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.



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Special section COVID-19
Loneliness, mental health, symptoms, psychological well-being, psychological distress, psychological needs, COVID-19.
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How to Cite
Faustino, B., Branco Vasco, A., Delgado, J., Farinha-Fernandes, A., & Guerreiro, J. C. (2021). Exploring the impacts of COVID-19 related social distancing on loneliness, psychological needs and symptomatology. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 23(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2020.492