Psychological well-being and lockdown: a study on an Italian sample during the first COVID-19 wave
During February and March 2020, the Italian government decided to provide guidelines in order to counter the spreading of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Several studies have shown that the first Lockdown deeply affected the psychological well-being of the individuals, but the role of possible protective variables is currently not known. In the present study we aimed to investigate the impact of several behavioral variables on individuals’ mental states and emotions experienced during the first Lockdown in Italy. Participants were 172 Italian adults and they were asked to answer several questions regarding the intensity of mental states and emotions experienced, the perceived usefulness of lockdown, the feeling of living a normal life, and the coping strategies implemented to face the pandemic. Results showed that, during the first wave of COVID-19 in Italy, only the perceived usefulness of lockdown positively affected people’s emotions. This result suggests that a better communication of the experimental findings supporting the political decisions made, and behavioral measures shaped to increase people’s commitment to the proposed rules are crucial in order to enhance people’s wellbeing. While this result is limited to the first wave and the first lockdown, future research should assess the role of rule acceptance and coping strategies in subsequent waves of COVID-19, and consequent partial or total lockdowns.
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