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1.
J Clin Med ; 11(1)2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580637

ABSTRACT

The pandemic period which has characterized the last two years has been associated with increasingly worsening psychological conditions, and previous studies have reported severe levels of anxiety, mood disorder, and psychopathological alteration in the general population. In particular, worldwide populations have appeared to present post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Surprisingly, no studies have evaluated the effect of COVID-related PTSS on cognitive functioning. This study focused on the association between high levels of PTSS related to COVID-19 and alterations in executive functioning by considering executive inhibitions in populations not infected by the virus. Ninety respondents from the Italian population participated in the study. A higher percentage of PTSS was reported. Moreover, respondents with high post-traumatic symptomatology presented deficits in the inhibition of preponderant responses, demonstrating an executive deficit which could be expressed by a difficulty in controlling goal-directed actions. This was underlined by worse performances in elaborating incongruent stimuli in the Stroop task and no-go stimuli in the Go/No-Go task. This report presents preliminary findings underlining the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on cognitive functions. The results confirmed a persistently higher post-traumatic symptomatology related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Italian population and highlighted an association with cognitive inhibition impairment.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488596

ABSTRACT

International research has evidenced the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families, and the key role played by parenting stress levels. Although significant associations with parents' past trauma and resilience have been shown, this study aimed to explore their complex interplay on the relationship between parents' peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19, parenting stress, and children's psychopathological difficulties. We recruited 353 parents with children aged two to 16 years via an online survey during the Italian second wave of COVID-19. Parents' peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19, parenting stress, past trauma and resilience, and children's psychological difficulties were assessed through self-report and report-form questionnaires. Parents' past traumas significantly predicted peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19 and children's psychological difficulties. The relationship between past traumas and children's psychological difficulties was serial mediated by parents' peritraumatic distress and parenting stress. Direct and total effects of parent's resilience on parent's peritraumatic distress were not significant, but there were significant indirect effects via parenting stress and via parents' peritraumatic distress and parenting stress, indicating inconsistent mediation. This study evidenced the key risk and protective role played by, respectively, parents' past traumas exposure and resilience on the relationship between parents' psychological difficulties due to COVID-19, parenting stress, and children's psychological difficulties, with important clinical implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Humans , Mental Health , Parenting , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488575

ABSTRACT

International research has underlined a worrying increase in Internet and Instagram addiction among emerging adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the role played by alexithymia and psychological distress due to COVID-19 has been evidenced, no study has explored their complex relationship in predicting emerging adults' Internet and Instagram addiction. The present study aimed to verify whether peritraumatic distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic mediated the relationship between emerging adults' alexithymia and their Internet/Instagram addiction, in a sample composed of n = 400 Italian emerging adults. Results showed that females had higher peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19 than males, whereas males had higher externally oriented thinking and higher levels of Internet addiction than females. Emerging adults' psychological distress due to COVID-19 significantly mediated the effect of alexithymia on Internet and Instagram addiction. Our findings supported the presence of a dynamic relationship between individual vulnerabilities and the co-occurrence of other psychological difficulties in predicting emerging adults' Internet and Instagram addiction during the pandemic, with important clinical implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Adult , Female , Humans , Internet Addiction Disorder , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463685

ABSTRACT

The scientific literature has shown the key role played by attachment to parents and peers and difficulties in recognizing, processing, and regulating emotions (i.e., alexithymia) in the (mal-)adaptive psychological response to the COVID-19 pandemic during late adolescence. No study has yet explored the complex interplay between these variables. We recruited a sample of 454 late adolescents (Mage = 22.79, SD = 2.27) and assessed attachment to parents and peers, alexithymia, and peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19 through self-report instruments. Attachment to fathers and peers, but not to mothers, and alexithymia significantly predicted levels of peritraumatic distress. Alexithymia fully and partially mediated the effect of, respectively, attachment to mothers and attachment to peers on peritraumatic distress due to COVID-19. These findings suggested that intervention programs focused on the promotion of peer social relationships, supportive parent-adolescent relationships, and the ability to recognize and discriminate one's own and others' emotions are needed in helping late adolescents to face the current health emergency and preventing short- and long-term psychopathological consequences related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Adolescent , Affective Symptoms/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 551924, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186870

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide public health emergency that forced the Italian Government to deliberate unprecedented actions, including quarantine, with a relevant impact on the population. The present study is one of the first Italian nationwide survey within the first period of the COVID-19 outbreak aimed to understand the social and psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Methods: An online survey collected information on sociodemographic data, history of direct or indirect contact with COVID-19, and other information concerning the COVID-19 emergency. The General Psychological Well-Being Index and a modified version of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, focused on the COVID-19 experience, assessed the respondents' general psychological condition. Results: Of 1,639 respondents equally distributed in the Italian territory, 5.1% reported PTSD symptomatology, and 48.2% evidenced lower psychological well-being linked to COVID-19 diffusion. Lower psychological well-being was significantly higher in women, younger than 50 years, and with health risk factors. Lower psychological well-being was also detected in individuals who did not know if they were infected, who have had direct exposure or were uncertain about their exposure to COVID-19, or who knew infected people. Regarding the social and behavioral consequences, respondents perceived worsening in demographic, economic, social, and relational conditions. Moreover, they reported increased film viewing, cookhouse time, social media use, and decreased physical activity. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be a risk factor for psychological diseases in the Italian population, as previously reported in the Chinese people. About half of the respondents reported a significant psychological impact. Moreover, we confirmed the role of restraining measures that led to modify lifestyles, social perception, and confidence in the institutions. These results underline the need for further studies aimed to develop psychological interventions to minimize the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

7.
Nat Sci Sleep ; 13: 191-199, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088823

ABSTRACT

Purpose: This study aimed to assess the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19-related aspects on self-reported sleep quality, considering the moderator role of some psychological variables. Methods: During the first weeks of the lockdown in Italy, 2286 respondents (1706 females and 580 males; age range: 18-74 years) completed an online survey that collected sociodemographic information and data related to the experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some questionnaires assessed sleep quality, psychological well-being, general psychopathology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders symptoms, and anxiety. The path analysis was adopted. Results: The study confirms a direct effect of some aspects ascribable to the pandemic, with a mediator role of the psychological variables. Lower sleep quality was directly related to the days spent at home in confinement and the knowledge of people affected by the COVID-19. All the other aspects related to the COVID-19 pandemic influenced sleep quality through the mediator effect of psychological variables. Conclusion: This study highlighted that the psychological condition of the population has been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the government actions taken to contain it, but it has also played an important role in mediating the quality of sleep, creating a vicious circle on people's health. The results suggest that a health emergency must be accompanied by adequate social support programs to mitigate the fear of infection and promote adequate resilience to accept confinement and social distancing. Such measures would moderate psychological distress and improve sleep quality.

8.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 581494, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045498

ABSTRACT

Background: Our study aimed to test the hypotheses that an increased level of loneliness experienced during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) confinement was predictive of internalizing symptoms and that this pathway was mediated by emotion dysregulation levels. Methods: To reach this aim, we performed an online longitudinal survey recruiting 1,330 participants at Time 1 (at the beginning of the lockdown) and 308 participants at Time 2 (few days before the end of the lockdown). All filled out a set of questionnaires: demographic data, University of California, Los Angeles Loneliness scale, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale-18 items, and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 items. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling in two steps and controlling for age. First, hypotheses were tested on cross-sectional data. Then, a cross-lagged panel analysis was performed on longitudinal data. Results: Models obtained a good fit and evidenced the predictive role of loneliness levels on the three outcomes (i.e., depression, anxiety, and stress). Moreover, we found that emotion dysregulation levels partially mediated the longitudinal relationship between loneliness and both depression and stress but not between loneliness and anxiety levels. Conclusions: This study points out that a central goal of clinical intervention could be the ability to regulate negative emotional states.

9.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-5752

ABSTRACT

Background: The 2019 Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) pandemic is a worldwide public health emergency. The extreme actions aimed to reduce the diffusion of the v

10.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 589916, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961661

ABSTRACT

The extraordinary health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic represents a new challenge for mental health researchers and clinical practitioners. The related containment measures may be a risk factor for psychological distress and mood disorders, especially in at-risk populations. This study aims to explore the impact of COVID-19 on postpartum depressive symptoms in mothers with children below 1 year of age. An online questionnaire survey was therefore conducted in Italy between May and June 2020. The survey consisted of several self-administered questionnaires: besides some ad-hoc questionnaires, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Scale of Perceived Social Support (SPSS) and the Maternity Social Support Scale (MSSS) were used. Two hundred forty-three Italian women were included in the study. The prevalence of postpartum depression symptomatology among mothers was 44%, as measured through the EPDS (cut-off >12). Women who spent the isolation in northern Italy adopted maladaptive coping strategies significantly more than women living in areas at lower risk. The analysis highlighted a significant difference between the group that was not directly affected by the virus and women who have had a direct or indirect contact with it. Besides situational factors specific to the pandemic, the results show that there are some risk factors tied to the personal history of the mother (e.g., having had a previous abortion). These data should inform and enlighten future protocols of intervention.

11.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 587724, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953846

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic represents a severe global crisis, affecting physical, and psychological health. Lockdown rules imposed to counteract the rapid growth of COVID-19, mainly social restrictions, have represented a risk factor for developing depressive and anxious symptoms. The research aims are to explore the effect of coping strategies and perceived social support on depressive and anxious symptomatology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ninety-six healthy people (46 males, mean age = 39.3; SD = 16.6) completed through on-line platform: Socio-demographic questionnaire, Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), 3 weeks after the imposition of lockdown restrictions. SCL-90-R Depression scores showed significant positive correlation with CISS Emotion (r = 0.85; p = 0.001) and Avoidant (r = 0.34; p = 0.018), a significant negative correlation with MSPSS Family support (r = -0.43; p = 0.003). SCL-90-R Anxiety scores showed a significant positive correlation with CISS Emotion (r = 0.72; p = 0.001) and Avoidant (r = 0.35; p = 0.016). No significant correlations between both CISS Emotion and Avoidant scales with social support emerged. Two Multiple Linear Regression analysis were performed using, respectively, SCL-90-R Depression and Anxiety scores as dependent variables, and the CISS and MSPSS scales, age, and gender as predictors. The first regression model (R 2 = 0.78; adjusted R 2 = 0.75) revealed CISS Emotion (ß = 0.83; p = 0.001) and MSPSS Family support (ß = -0.24; p = 0.004) had a predictive effect on SCL-90-R Depression scores. The second regression model (R 2 = 0.52; adjusted R 2 = 0.472) revealed that only CISS Emotion (ß = 0.71; p = 0.001) predicted the SCL-90-R Anxiety scores. In conclusion, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, coping focus on emotions seemed to increase anxious and depressive symptoms, probably due to the uncontrollable nature of the stressful event and the high emotional response. Family support which reduces the sense of loneliness had an exclusive role in mitigating depressive symptoms. These results highlight the importance of promoting psychological strategies to improve emotional regulation skills, reducing isolation from family, to prevent mood symptomatology in healthy citizens during large-scale health crises.

12.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 589444, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-937486

ABSTRACT

Background: The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has caused severe panic among people worldwide. In Italy, a nationwide state of alert was declared on January 31st, leading to the confinement of the entire population from March 11 to May 18, 2020. Isolation and quarantine measures cause psychological problems, especially for individuals who are recognized as being vulnerable. Parental bonding and attachment styles play a role in the programming of the stress response system. Here, we hypothesize that the response to restricted social contact and mobility due to the pandemic has detrimental effects on mental-psychological health and that this relationship is, at least in part, modulated by parental bonding and attachment relationships that are experienced at an early age. Methods: A sample of 68 volunteer University students was screened for psychopathological symptoms (SCL-90-R and STAI-Y), stress perception (PSS), attachment style (RQ), and parental care and overcontrol (PBI) 6 months before the confinement. In the same subjects, psychopathological symptoms and stress perception were measured again during confinement. Results: Overall, psychological health and stress management deteriorated across the entire sample during confinement. Specifically, a significant increase in phobic anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and perceived stress was observed. Notably, parental bonding and attachment styles modulated the psychological status during the lockdown. Individuals with secure attachment and high levels of parental care (high care) showed increased levels of state anxiety and perceived stress in phase 2, compared with phase 1. In contrast, individuals with insecure attachment and low levels of parental care (low care) already showed a high rate of state anxiety and perceived stress in phase 1 that did not increase further during phase 2. Conclusion: The general deterioration of psychological health in the entire sample demonstrates the pervasiveness of this stressor, a decline that is partially modulated by attachment style and parental bonding. These results implicated disparate sensitivities to environmental changes in the high- and low care groups during the lockdown, the former of which shows the greatest flexibility in the response to environment, suggesting adequate and functional response to stress in high care individuals, which is not observable in the low care group.

13.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-910

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide public health emergency, which forced the Italian Government to deliberate unprecedented actions, including qua

14.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-908

ABSTRACT

Background: The 2019 Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19) pandemic is a worldwide public health emergency. The extreme actions aimed to reduce the diffusion of the v

15.
Sleep Med ; 75: 12-20, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-731180

ABSTRACT

Background: The 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has become a global health emergency. The extreme actions aimed to reduce virus diffusion have profoundly changed the lifestyles of the Italian population. Moreover, fear of contracting the infection has generated high levels of anxiety. This study aimed to understand the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on sleep quality, general anxiety symptomatology, and psychological distress. Methods: An online survey collected information on socio-demographic data and additional information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, sleep quality, sleep disorders, generalized anxiety symptoms, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology related to COVID-19 were assessed. Results: This study included 2291 respondents. The results revealed that 57.1% of participants reported poor sleep quality, 32.1% high anxiety, 41.8% high distress, and 7.6% reported PTSD symptomatology linked to COVID-19. Youth and women, those uncertain regarding possible COVID-19 infection, and greater fear of direct contact with those infected by COVID-19 had an increased risk of developing sleep disturbances, as well as higher levels of anxiety and distress. Finally, a significant relationship between sleep quality, generalized anxiety, and psychological distress with PTSD symptoms related to COVID-19 was evidenced. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be a risk factor for sleep disorders and psychological diseases in the Italian population, as previously reported in China. These results should be used as a starting point for further studies aimed to develop psychological interventions to minimize the brief and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Psychological Distress , Quarantine/psychology , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/psychology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Depression/psychology , Female , Health Status , Humans , Italy , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/etiology
16.
J Clin Med ; 9(6)2020 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592269

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Starting from the first months of 2020, worldwide population has been facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nations, including Italy, took extreme actions to reduce the diffusion of the virus, profoundly changing lifestyles. The Italians have been faced with both the fear of contracting the infection and the consequences of enforcing social distancing. This study was aimed to understand the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the psychopathological outcomes related to the first phase of this emergency. METHODS: The study included 2291 respondents. An online survey collected information on socio-demographic variables, history of direct or indirect contact with COVID-19, and additional information concerning the COVID-19 emergency. Moreover, psychopathological symptoms such as anxiety, mood alterations and post-traumatic symptomatology were assessed. RESULTS: The results revealed that respectively 31.38%, 37.19% and 27.72% of respondents reported levels of general psychopathological symptomatology, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms over the cut-off scores. Furthermore, a significant worsening of mood has emerged. Being a female or under the age of 50 years, having had direct contact with people infected by the COVID-19, and experiencing uncertainty about the risk of contagion represent risk factors for psychological distress. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic appear to impact not only on physical health but also on psychological well-being. Although these results need to be considered with caution being based on self-reported data collected at the beginning of this emergency, they should be used as a starting point for further studies aimed to develop interventions to minimize both the brief and long-term psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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