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The moderating roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in Italy.
J Contextual Behav Sci. 2020 Jul; 17:109-118.JC

Abstract

The Moderating Roles of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility on the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Italy. Preliminary data suggest the COVID-19 pandemic has adverse effects on mental health in approximately a quarter of the general population. Few prior studies have identified contextual risk factors and no published study has explored factors that might moderate their adverse effects on mental health. Psychological flexibility is the cornerstone of psychological health and resiliency. This study investigated the roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility in moderating the effects of COVID-19 risk factors on three mental health outcomes: COVID-19 peritraumatic distress, anxiety, depression. We hypothesized that psychological flexibility would mitigate and psychological inflexibility would exacerbate the adverse effects of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. During the Italian national lockdown (M = 39.29 days, SD = 11.26), 1035 adults (79% female, M = 37.5 years, SD = 12.3) completed an online survey. Twelve COVID-19 risk factors were identified (e.g. lockdown duration, family infected by COVID-19, increase in domestic violence and in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours) and constituted a COVID-19 Lockdown Index. As predicted, results showed that after controlling for sociodemographic variables, global psychological flexibility and four of its sub-processes (self-as context, defusion, values, committed action), mitigated the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. In contrast and as expected, global psychological inflexibility and four of its sub-processes (lack of contact with present moment, fusion, self-as-content, lack of contact with personal values) exacerbated the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. Findings converge with those from the broader psychological flexibility literature providing robust support for the use of ACT-based interventions to promote psychological flexibility and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authors+Show Affiliations

The University of Queensland; School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia.Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127, Bologna, Italy. Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023, Cesena, Italy.Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023, Cesena, Italy.Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023, Cesena, Italy.Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127, Bologna, Italy. Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023, Cesena, Italy.Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127, Bologna, Italy. Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023, Cesena, Italy.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32834969

Citation

Pakenham, Kenneth I., et al. "The Moderating Roles of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility On the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Italy." Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, vol. 17, 2020, pp. 109-118.
Pakenham KI, Landi G, Boccolini G, et al. The moderating roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in Italy. J Contextual Behav Sci. 2020;17:109-118.
Pakenham, K. I., Landi, G., Boccolini, G., Furlani, A., Grandi, S., & Tossani, E. (2020). The moderating roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in Italy. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 17, 109-118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.07.003
Pakenham KI, et al. The Moderating Roles of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility On the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Italy. J Contextual Behav Sci. 2020;17:109-118. PubMed PMID: 32834969.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The moderating roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility on the mental health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in Italy. AU - Pakenham,Kenneth I, AU - Landi,Giulia, AU - Boccolini,Giada, AU - Furlani,Annalisa, AU - Grandi,Silvana, AU - Tossani,Eliana, Y1 - 2020/07/20/ PY - 2020/05/30/received PY - 2020/07/08/revised PY - 2020/07/10/accepted PY - 2020/8/25/entrez PY - 2020/8/25/pubmed PY - 2020/8/25/medline KW - Anxiety KW - COVID-19 pandemic KW - Depression KW - Lockdown KW - Peritraumatic distress KW - Psychological flexibility KW - Psychological inflexibility SP - 109 EP - 118 JF - Journal of contextual behavioral science JO - J Contextual Behav Sci VL - 17 N2 - The Moderating Roles of Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility on the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Italy. Preliminary data suggest the COVID-19 pandemic has adverse effects on mental health in approximately a quarter of the general population. Few prior studies have identified contextual risk factors and no published study has explored factors that might moderate their adverse effects on mental health. Psychological flexibility is the cornerstone of psychological health and resiliency. This study investigated the roles of psychological flexibility and inflexibility in moderating the effects of COVID-19 risk factors on three mental health outcomes: COVID-19 peritraumatic distress, anxiety, depression. We hypothesized that psychological flexibility would mitigate and psychological inflexibility would exacerbate the adverse effects of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. During the Italian national lockdown (M = 39.29 days, SD = 11.26), 1035 adults (79% female, M = 37.5 years, SD = 12.3) completed an online survey. Twelve COVID-19 risk factors were identified (e.g. lockdown duration, family infected by COVID-19, increase in domestic violence and in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours) and constituted a COVID-19 Lockdown Index. As predicted, results showed that after controlling for sociodemographic variables, global psychological flexibility and four of its sub-processes (self-as context, defusion, values, committed action), mitigated the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. In contrast and as expected, global psychological inflexibility and four of its sub-processes (lack of contact with present moment, fusion, self-as-content, lack of contact with personal values) exacerbated the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 risk factors on mental health. Findings converge with those from the broader psychological flexibility literature providing robust support for the use of ACT-based interventions to promote psychological flexibility and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. SN - 2212-1447 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32834969/The_moderating_roles_of_psychological_flexibility_and_inflexibility_on_the_mental_health_impacts_of_COVID_19_pandemic_and_lockdown_in_Italy_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2212-1447(20)30158-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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