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Curr Psychol ; : 1-9, 2021 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325644


COVID-19-related burden has a significant impact on mental health and has led to an increase of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Physical activity has been suggested to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic and to foster mental health. The present study aimed to investigate, whether sense of control might mediate the supposed beneficial effects of physical activity on positive (PMH) and negative mental health (NMH) in unpredictable extraordinary situations. Data were assessed in a sample of 568 students (M age = 19.90, SD age = 4.52) from Germany via an online survey in fall 2020. Mediation analyses revealed that sense of control mediated the relation between physical activity and PMH as well as depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, respectively. The findings indicate that physical activity may be a promising strategy for fostering sense of control and thus mental health. Due to its practical implications and practicability, engagement in physical activity could be an effective way to reduce the NMH consequences of the current COVID-19 situation, and therefore should be addressed in actions for long-term prevention and intervention.

PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261023, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630607


Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the use of digital devices, especially smartphones, remarkably increased. Smartphone use belongs to one's daily routine, but can negatively impact physical and mental health, performance, and relationships if used excessively. The present study aimed to investigate potential correlates of problematic smartphone use (PSU) severity and the mechanisms underlying its development. Data of 516 smartphone users from Germany (Mage = 31.91, SDage = 12.96) were assessed via online surveys in April and May 2021. PSU severity was significantly negatively associated with sense of control. In contrast, it was significantly positively linked to fear of missing out (FoMO), repetitive negative thinking (RNT), and daily time spent on smartphone use. In a moderated mediation analysis, the negative relationship between sense of control and PSU severity was significantly mediated by FoMO. RNT significantly moderated the positive association between FoMO and PSU severity. Specifically, the higher the RNT, the stronger the relationship between FoMO and PSU. The present findings disclose potential mechanisms that could contribute to PSU. Potential ways of how to reduce PSU severity are discussed.

COVID-19/psychology , Internal-External Control , Smartphone/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Fear/psychology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Thinking , Young Adult