Loneliness and Fear of COVID-19 in Polish Adults. The Mediating Role of Generalized Mood
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Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski im. Jana Pawła II
Submission date: 2022-02-16
Final revision date: 2022-10-16
Acceptance date: 2022-10-17
Publication date: 2022-11-29
Corresponding author
Agnieszka Ewa Lewicka Zelent   

Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
JoMS 2022;49(2):233-252
Since the end of 2019 the COVID-19 pandemic has been determining the ways in which nations, institutions, and individuals function. As of now, despite a growing body of research, little is known about the effects of the pandemic in the area of psychosocial functioning of an individual. An analysis of the results of the studies conducted so far implies that the feeling of loneliness, caused or exacerbated by pandemic regimes, may increase fear of COVID-19. To provide effective psychological support to persons suffering from fear of the coronavirus relationships between the feeling of loneliness and fear of the COVID-19 must be understood. Both clinical experience and research results show that generalized mood may be a mediator in the postulated relationships. The present work studies the relationship between loneliness and fear of COVID-19, and the generalized mood as a mediator in this relationship in adults.

Material and methods:
The studies were performed on a sample of 298 adults from Poland, aged 20 to 90. The mediation analysis with bias-corrected bootstrapping method confirmed that the relation between loneliness and fear of COVID-19 is mediated by generalized mood.

The results show an indirect effect of loneliness via generalized mood on fear of COVID-19.

The feeling of loneliness and depressed generalized mood are risk factors for fear of COVID-19. Health care and welfare workers should be aware of health threats to socially isolated adults and those with a depressed mood. It is important to develop, as soon as possible, a simple, universal counseling package aimed at improving the clients’ generalized mood, a package that would be conducive to the development of social relations and would include education in adapting to the COVID-19 situation.

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