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Психоэмоциональное состояние  украинцев на карантине: общие оценки и динамика

Psychological and emotional health of Ukrainians under quarantine: general assessments and trends

Date posted: 22.04.2020 Print Full version

•    The survey carried out by the Sociological Group Rating has revealed signs of depression, anxiety, panic, fatigue, and sleep disorders once again. Comparing the results with the previous two waves of the survey (I wave - 27-28.03, II wave - 3-4.04), depression has increased somewhat, while anxiety has decreased. Panic, fatigue, and insomnia levels have hardly changed.

•    Depression might be associated with physical limitations (immobility, less activity) and lack of external stimuli: new experiences, events, and intensity of interaction with others. Life during quarantine is often kind of a “Groundhog Day” - a monotony that leads to a black mood and lethargy. Moreover, depression is strongly associated with fatigue (the higher the level of fatigue, the higher the depression) and sleep disorders (as well).

•    Detected anxiety is situational (occurs because of unusual environmental stressors), as opposed to personal, which is a constant psychological feature of individuals. The decline in such anxiety is probably related to adaptation to new conditions and reduced sense of uncertainty. Quarantine stopped being an unfamiliar phenomenon that makes a person anxious. The level of panic in general has remained at very moderate level since the beginning of quarantine, and nowadays its growth seems unlikely, since this condition arises in response to either real or perceived serious threat associated with strong negative experiences caused by an unusual situation. In addition, panic of a psychologically healthy person is a short-term condition - a few minutes to several days that have already passed since the quarantine beginning.

•    Age. Considering the dynamics, there has been an increase of sleep disorders among middle-aged people (30-49 years) and fatigue within a pre-retirement age group (50-59 years). In spite of this, there has been a decline of anxiety among the latter group’s respondents. The same trend has been observed among the oldest respondents.

•    Gender. Women continue to reveal a higher level of emotional performance as compared to men. Considering the dynamics, women demonstrate a decrease in anxiety level - they are better adapted and accustomed to changes. Men reveal an increase of depression and sleep disorders, which are strongly interrelated.

•    Employment. Among those who have a job, lower levels of sleep disorder and depression are recorded as compared to those who do not work (at least remotely). Work helps to diversify quarantine life, partially maintain activity, communication and interaction, divert from negative thoughts and have a more established agenda. Despite this, fatigue indices are almost identical in all categories. Also, among those who work remotely, the level of anxiety and panic is higher than among those who go to work (because working remotely is an unusual situation that needs adaptation: many processes have not yet been established, some tasks in general are either unreal to be performed remotely or the performance quality is lower). Those who have the opportunity to go to work have retained much of their normal lives and work interactions as compared to those who work remotely.

•    Control locus. Attitude towards life circumstances and control over them has a significant impact on the emotional state. Internals who take responsibility for successes and failures, life events, feel much better - they demonstrate lower levels off all indicators, and especially in terms of depression. On the contrary, externals who shift the responsibility for their lives on external factors reveal high levels of psychological and emotional stress.

•    Family atmosphere is an important influencing factor of the psychological and emotional state of respondents. Tension in family relationships is relatively more common for the 30-39 age group, which typically has preschoolers or toddlers- this creates extra stress (it is more difficult to maintain the lives of families with children during quarantine). On the other hand, older people are the most calm.

•    Among those who have described family relationships as calm, the level of negative emotions and states is much lower than compared to others. The family in this case serves as a support resource and helps reduce stress. The emotional state of those who believe that their family relationships differ from time to time is similar to those who have no relationships at all. The exception is the level of anxiety that is higher in families. Among those who are not in a relationship, anxiety is at the same level as among those who find their relationship calm.

•    It is important to emphasize that the level of negative psychological and emotional states is very high among those in tense relationships. In their case, the family, on the contrary, is an additional stressor and does not provide support and sense of security. Moreover, during quarantine, there is little opportunity to spend less time in a family with tense relationships - staying together for a long time is an additional factor of conflict atmosphere. It can be assumed that this group is at risk speaking of increasing divorce levels in the post-quarantine period.

Sample: III wave (10-12.04.2020) - 1627 respondents aged 18 and older. The margin of error with confidence level 0.95 does not exceed 4%. Internet poll using CASI method (Computer-Assisted Self Interviewing). Based on a random sampling of mobile phone numbers. The project was implemented in collaboration with the National Research Network “POLLARIS”

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