eISSN: 2353-5571
ISSN: 2353-4184
Health Psychology Report
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2/2021
vol. 9
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Fear of COVID-19 as a buffer in the relationship between perceived stress and life satisfaction in the Polish population at the beginning of the global pandemic

Joanna Dymecka
1
,
Rafał Gerymski
1
,
Anna Machnik-Czerwik
1

1.
Institute of Psychology, Opole University, Opole, Poland
Health Psychology Report, 9(2), 149–159
Online publish date: 2020/12/26
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Background
COVID-19 is a significant threat to human life and health. It makes people experience fear, stress, anxiety and mood disor-ders, which have a negative impact on their psychological well-being. The aim of the study was to determine the relation-ship between fear of COVID-19, perceived stress, and life satisfaction during the coronavirus pandemic.

Participants and procedure
907 Polish people (522 women and 385 men) participated in this study. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FOC-6) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) were used in the study.

Results
Fear of COVID-19 and perceived stress were positively correlated with each other and both negatively related to life satis-faction. Moderation analysis showed that fear of COVID-19 acted as a buffer between perceived stress and life satisfaction – people with a high level of fear of COVID-19 and perceived stress had greater life satisfaction than those with high levels of stress but low levels of fear of COVID-19.

Conclusions
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people experience significant stress and fear of infection, which negatively affect their life satisfaction. It can be assumed that during a global pandemic, most stressors are not directly linked to the risk of infection. Loss of job, isolation, lack of social support, or a total change in lifestyle may be more threatening to the well-being than the risk of infection, which many people do not consider as dangerous. Therefore, it can be assumed that people who expe-rience a strong fear of COVID-19 may perceive inconveniences resulting from restrictions as less oppressive than people who do not feel fear.

keywords:

stress; life satisfaction; moderation; COVID-19; fear of coronavirus

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