Knowledge is power: Learning more about COVID-19 can reduce your pandemic stress



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A brand new examine from North Carolina State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology finds that the more folks know about COVID-19, the much less pandemic-related stress they’ve. The examine additionally discovered that planning to reduce stress was additionally efficient for older adults—however not for adults of their 40s or youthful.

“COVID-19 is a new disease—it’s not something that people worried about before,” says Shevaun Neupert, a professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the examine. “So we wanted to see how people were responding to, and coping with, this new source of .”

To that finish, researchers surveyed 515 adults from throughout the United States. The adults ranged in age from 20-79. The cohort of examine members had a median age of just below 40, and 46 of them had been more than 60 years outdated. The surveys had been carried out between March 20 and April 19, 2020.

One a part of the survey was a 29-item quiz designed to evaluate how a lot examine members knew about COVID-19. Coupled with different components of the survey, this let researchers assess whether or not an understanding of COVID-19 made folks really feel more stress or much less.

“We found that knowledge is power,” Neupert says. “The more factual info folks knew about COVID-19, the much less stress that they had. That was true throughout age teams.

“Knowledge reduces uncertainty, and uncertainty can be very stressful,” Neupert says. “Although speculative, it is likely that knowledge about this new virus reduced uncertainty, which in turn reduced feelings of pandemic stress.”

The researchers went into the examine considering would probably expertise more stress associated to COVID-19, as a result of the illness was portrayed as significantly harmful to seniors. But they discovered that pandemic-related stress ranges had been the identical for all age teams.

“The strongest predictor of stress was concern about getting COVID-19, which isn’t surprising,” says Neupert. “And the older people were, the more pronounced this effect was.”

But older adults additionally had a bonus: pro-active coping. The use of proactive coping—or planning to reduce the chance of stress—decreased stress in adults over the age of 52. It had no impact for youthful adults.

“These outcomes counsel that everybody can profit from staying engaged with that may enhance about COVID-19,” Neupert says. “In addition, older adults who are able to use proactive coping, such as trying to prepare for adverse events, could decrease their pandemic stress.”

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More info:
Ann Pearman, et al. Age Differences in Risk and Resilience Factors in COVID-19-Related Stress, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B (2020). DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa120

Knowledge is energy: Learning more about COVID-19 can reduce your pandemic stress (2020, August 10)
retrieved 10 August 2020

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