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Novelty Seeking and Mental Health in Chinese University Students Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: A Longitudinal Study.
Front Psychol. 2020; 11:600739.FP

Abstract

COVID-19 has created significant concern surrounding the impact of pandemic lockdown on mental health. While the pandemic lockdown can be distressing, times of crisis can also provide people with the opportunity to think divergently and explore different activities. Novelty seeking, where individuals explore novel and unfamiliarly stimuli and environments, may enhance the creativity of individuals to solve problems in a way that allows them to adjust their emotional responses to stressful situations. This study employs a longitudinal design to investigate changes in novelty seeking and mental health outcomes (namely, stress, anxiety, and depression) before, during, and after COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, among a group of students (final N = 173; M age = 19.81; SD age = 0.98; 135 females and 38 males) from a university in southeast China. Participants were surveyed at three points: November, 2019 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic); between February and March, 2020 (during the peak of the pandemic and intense lockdown in China); and between May and June, 2020 (after lockdown had been lifted in China). Cross-sectionally, correlation analysis indicated that greater novelty seeking was associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression at all three time points. Univariate latent curve modeling (LCM) indicated a growth trajectory in which novelty seeking increased over time and then remained high during the post-lockdown period. Stress, anxiety, and depression all showed V-shaped growth trajectories in which these variables decreased during lockdown, before increasing in the post-lockdown period. Multivariate LCM indicated the growth trajectory for novelty seeking was associated with the growth trajectories for stress, anxiety, and depression. This suggests that the observed decreases in stress, anxiety, and depression during the lockdown period may be attributable to the sample's observed increase in novelty seeking. These findings are valuable in that they challenge the notion that lockdown measures are inherently detrimental to mental health. The findings indicate the important role of novelty seeking in responding to crises. It may be possible for future public health measures to incorporate the promotion of novelty seeking to help individuals' respond to stressful situations and maintain good mental health in the face of crises.

Authors+Show Affiliations

College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.Department of Social Work, Foshan University, Foshan, China.College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.Department of Social Work, Foshan University, Foshan, China.College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33343473

Citation

Li, Wendy Wen, et al. "Novelty Seeking and Mental Health in Chinese University Students Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: a Longitudinal Study." Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 2020, p. 600739.
Li WW, Yu H, Miller DJ, et al. Novelty Seeking and Mental Health in Chinese University Students Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: A Longitudinal Study. Front Psychol. 2020;11:600739.
Li, W. W., Yu, H., Miller, D. J., Yang, F., & Rouen, C. (2020). Novelty Seeking and Mental Health in Chinese University Students Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: A Longitudinal Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 600739. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.600739
Li WW, et al. Novelty Seeking and Mental Health in Chinese University Students Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: a Longitudinal Study. Front Psychol. 2020;11:600739. PubMed PMID: 33343473.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Novelty Seeking and Mental Health in Chinese University Students Before, During, and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: A Longitudinal Study. AU - Li,Wendy Wen, AU - Yu,Huizhen, AU - Miller,Dan J, AU - Yang,Fang, AU - Rouen,Christopher, Y1 - 2020/12/03/ PY - 2020/08/31/received PY - 2020/11/13/accepted PY - 2020/12/21/entrez PY - 2020/12/22/pubmed PY - 2020/12/22/medline KW - Bayesian estimation KW - COVID-19 KW - anxiety KW - depression KW - latent growth modeling KW - meaning maintenance model KW - novelty seeking KW - stress SP - 600739 EP - 600739 JF - Frontiers in psychology JO - Front Psychol VL - 11 N2 - COVID-19 has created significant concern surrounding the impact of pandemic lockdown on mental health. While the pandemic lockdown can be distressing, times of crisis can also provide people with the opportunity to think divergently and explore different activities. Novelty seeking, where individuals explore novel and unfamiliarly stimuli and environments, may enhance the creativity of individuals to solve problems in a way that allows them to adjust their emotional responses to stressful situations. This study employs a longitudinal design to investigate changes in novelty seeking and mental health outcomes (namely, stress, anxiety, and depression) before, during, and after COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, among a group of students (final N = 173; M age = 19.81; SD age = 0.98; 135 females and 38 males) from a university in southeast China. Participants were surveyed at three points: November, 2019 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic); between February and March, 2020 (during the peak of the pandemic and intense lockdown in China); and between May and June, 2020 (after lockdown had been lifted in China). Cross-sectionally, correlation analysis indicated that greater novelty seeking was associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression at all three time points. Univariate latent curve modeling (LCM) indicated a growth trajectory in which novelty seeking increased over time and then remained high during the post-lockdown period. Stress, anxiety, and depression all showed V-shaped growth trajectories in which these variables decreased during lockdown, before increasing in the post-lockdown period. Multivariate LCM indicated the growth trajectory for novelty seeking was associated with the growth trajectories for stress, anxiety, and depression. This suggests that the observed decreases in stress, anxiety, and depression during the lockdown period may be attributable to the sample's observed increase in novelty seeking. These findings are valuable in that they challenge the notion that lockdown measures are inherently detrimental to mental health. The findings indicate the important role of novelty seeking in responding to crises. It may be possible for future public health measures to incorporate the promotion of novelty seeking to help individuals' respond to stressful situations and maintain good mental health in the face of crises. SN - 1664-1078 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33343473/Novelty_Seeking_and_Mental_Health_in_Chinese_University_Students_Before_During_and_After_the_COVID_19_Pandemic_Lockdown:_A_Longitudinal_Study_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.600739 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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