The state of psychological distress among various social groups in Ukraine during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Article(UKR)(.pdf)

The main trends in public opinion research during the COVID-19 pandemic in different countries are considered. There are three areas of such research: 1) exploring of respondents’ experiences, which they associate with coronavirus and forced isolation; 2) study of the states dynamics; 3) tracking negative emotional dynamics that threaten mental health. The need to study the factors that have the greatest impact on the deterioration of the population’s mental health during quarantine has been identified. A survey was conducted among users of the social media “Facebook”. The sample was constructed using targeted advertising among the main demographic groups (gender, age) of all regional centers of Ukraine. The total sample size was 6973 observations. The number of women and men in the sample was 62% and 38%, respectively. The average age of women is 43,0 years, men – 41,5. Based on the data obtained, five key stressors that determine the level of psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic were identified: assessment of the probability of contracting coronavirus, frequency of checking news about coronavirus, incidence in the last six months, level of tension with cohabitants and assessment of complexity permanent insulation. The traditional finding in the study of psychological distress was the difference in its level between men and women. At the same time, the only stressor whose distribution of values differs significantly in men and women is the frequency of diseases in the last six months. A developed regression model showed that in addition to key stressors, explanatory potential has variables such as estimating the likelihood of coronavirus infection in severe form (stressors start at 50%), age group (60 years and older) and the absence of chronic diseases. The total explanatory potential of the model is 27,6%. It is concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic has created objective preconditions for a significant deterioration in the psychological well-being, if not of the entire population of Ukraine, then at least of some of its groups. The phenomenon of stress resistance has been identified as a promising area of further research.

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