Socio-economic inequalities in social network, loneliness and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519 and Breakwell, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-2002-5681, 2020. Socio-economic inequalities in social network, loneliness and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. ISSN 0020-7640

[img]
Preview
Text
1393830_Jaspal.pdf - Published version

Download (201kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, a focus on isolation and loneliness is important, especially as social distancing policies (which for some groups involve self-isolation or quarantine) are likely to accentuate these experiences and affect mental health.

Aims: This study focuses on socio-economic inequalities in social network, loneliness and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Two-hundred and fourteen residents of Wandsworth, a South West London Borough in the United Kingdom completed an online cross-sectional survey on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. Data were analysed using independent samples t-tests and multiple regression.

Results: Middle-aged people reported a less strong social network and more loneliness, anxiety and depression than younger people. People with a long-term health condition reported a less strong social network, more loneliness, more general practitioner (GP) and hospital visits, and poorer mental health than those with no long-term health conditions. People receiving State financial benefits reported less use of public spaces, a less strong social network, more loneliness, more GP and hospital visits and poorer mental health than those not receiving benefits. Greater neighbourhood identification was associated with a stronger social network and better mental health outcomes. Multiple regression analyses showed that, over and above loneliness, perceived personal risk of COVID-19 constitutes an additional precipitant for both depression and anxiety when controlling for other variables.

Conclusion: As a novel stressor associated with the pandemic, the situational and involuntary perception of being at risk of COVID-19 may be stimulating anxiety and depressive symptomatology, which will need to be managed effectively as resurgences of the disease are predicted and communicated to the general public under growing mistrust and uncertainty.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Social Psychiatry
Creators: Jaspal, R. and Breakwell, G.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 7 December 2020
ISSN: 0020-7640
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1177/0020764020976694DOI
1393830Other
33287610PubMed ID
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 15 Dec 2020 09:34
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 09:34
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/41857

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year