Death anxiety, death reflection and interpersonal communication as predictors of social distance towards people infected with COVID 19

Petru Lucian Curseu, Andra Diana Coman, Anton Panchenko, Oana Catalina Fodor, Lucia Ratiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Our study investigates several antecedents and consequences of negative emotional reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic in a cross-national sample of 737 participants. Our results show that COVID-19 anxiety and negative mood are positively predicted by death anxiety and the use in communication of general COVID-19 information. Death reflection reduces negative mood in relation to COVID-19 and attenuates the positive association between death anxiety on the one hand and the negative mood and anxiety in relation to COVID-19 on the other hand. The use of humoristic information about COVID-19 reduces anxiety and social distance towards people infected with COVID-19 and also attenuates the positive association between the use in communication of general COVID-19 information and negative mood in relation to COVID-19. Our results also show that the association between death anxiety and social distance towards those infected with COVID-19 is mediated by anxiety and negative mood in relation to COVID-19. Finally, the association between the use of COVID-19 information in interpersonal communication and social distance is mediated by anxiety and negative mood in relation to COVID-19. The study thus reveals specific insights for tailored interventions to reduce negativity towards people infected with COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Humor
  • Communication
  • Social distance
  • Discrimination
  • Death anxiety

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