SciCombinator

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Journal: Journal of happiness studies

234

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and attendant lockdown measures present serious threats to emotional well-being worldwide. Here, we examined the extent to which being outdoors (vs. indoors), the experience of loneliness, and screen-time are associated with emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic using an experiencing sampling method. In April 2020, Austrian adults (N = 286, age M = 31.0 years) completed a 21-day experience sampling phase in which they reported their emotional well-being (i.e., happiness), whether they were indoors or outdoors, and loneliness at three random time-points each day, as well as their daily screen-time. Results indicated that being outdoors was associated with higher emotional well-being, whereas greater loneliness and greater daily screen-time were associated with poorer well-being. Additionally, the impact of loneliness on well-being was weaker when participants were outdoors than indoors. These results have health policy implications for the promotion of population well-being during pandemics.

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It is a commonly expressed sentiment that the science and philosophy of well-being would do well to learn from each other. Typically such calls identify mistakes and bad practices on both sides that would be remedied if scientists picked the right bit of philosophy and philosophers picked the right bit of science. We argue that the differences between philosophers and scientists thinking about well-being are more difficult to reconcile than such calls suggest, and that pluralism is central to this task. Pluralism is a stance that explicitly drives towards accommodating and nurturing the richness and diversity of well-being, both as a concept and as an object of inquiry. We show that well-being science manifests a contingent pluralism at the level of methodology, whereas philosophy of well-being has largely rejected pluralism at the conceptual level. Recently, things have begun to change. Within philosophy, conceptual monism is under attack. But so is methodological pluralism within science. We welcome the first development, and bemoan the second. We argue that a joined-up philosophy and science of well-being should recognise the virtues of both conceptual and methodological pluralism. Philosophers should embrace the methodological justification of pluralism that can be found in the well-being sciences, and scientists should embrace the conceptual reasons to be pluralist that can be found in philosophical debate.

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Given the need to understand both the negative and positive psychological consequences of the current global COVID-19 pandemic (Brewin et al. in Perspectives in Public Health 10.1177/1757913920957365 2020), the aim of this study was to test a cognitive model of post-traumatic symptoms (PTS) and post-traumatic growth (PTG) during confinement caused by the SARS-COV-2 epidemic. In line with cognitive models of trauma elaboration (Park in Psychological Bulletin 10.1037/a0018301), we included in our model some beliefs associated to the world (e.g., primal beliefs about a good world), to the self (e.g., death anxiety or orientation toward the future) and to others (e.g., suspiciousness or identification with humanity). To evaluate the explanatory model, a national representative sample of adults between the ages of 18 and 75 (N = 1951) was surveyed between 7th and 13th April, 2020, in the middle of a strict 7-week national confinement. Structural equation modelling yielded a very similar model to the one initially specified. The results highlight the role of both negative and positive core beliefs, which are pertinent to the current pandemic threat, in the appearance of PTS and PTG, respectively. In short, primal beliefs about a good world, openness to the future and identification with humanity were associated with PTG; while suspiciousness, intolerance of uncertainty, anxiety about death and also identification with humanity were associated with PTS and consequent impairment. This is an innovative study of different pathways to traumatic responses and growth during a pandemic. Future research is needed to replicate its findings.

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The present study examined how neuroticism, extraversion, and emotion regulation were related to loneliness and well-being during 6 weeks of major public life restrictions in the Covid-19 pandemic in Switzerland. Cross-sectional results from 466 participants showed that neuroticism and emotion regulation strategies were associated with higher loneliness and lower well-being. However, in contrast to prior research, associations of extraversion with loneliness and well-being were weak and were qualified by interactions with emotion regulation. For introverts, maladaptive cognitive strategies such as rumination or catastrophizing were related to higher levels of loneliness. For extraverts, emotion suppression was related to lower levels of affective well-being. Individuals with low maladaptive regulation reported higher well-being the longer the public life restrictions were in place at the time of study participation. These findings suggest that first, extraversion may lose some of its protective value for loneliness and well-being when opportunities to engage in social activities are limited; second, that loneliness and well-being do not decrease over 6 weeks of public life restrictions; and third, that future studies should further investigate the moderating role of emotion regulation on the link between personality, loneliness, and well-being.

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The Covid-19 pandemic obliged people around the world to stay home and self-isolate, with a number of negative psychological consequences. This study focuses on the protective role of character strengths in sustaining mental health and self-efficacy during lockdown. Data were collected from 944 Italian respondents (mean age = 37.24 years, SD = 14.50) by means of an online survey investigating character strengths, psychological distress and Covid-19-related self-efficacy one month after lockdown began. Using principal component analysis, four strengths factors were extracted, namely transcendence, interpersonal, openness and restraint. Regression models with second-order factors showed that transcendence strengths had a strong inverse association with psychological distress, and a positive association with self-efficacy. Regression models with single strengths identified hope, zest, prudence, love and forgiveness as the strengths most associated with distress, love and zest as the most related to self-efficacy and zest to general mental health. Openness factor and appreciation of beauty showed an unexpected direct relation with psychological distress. These results provide original evidence of the association of character strengths, and transcendence strengths in particular, with mental health and self-efficacy in a pandemic and are discussed within the field of positive psychology.

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The goal of this study was to investigate the linkages of positive affect (PA) with cognitive health and its decline among elder Mexican Americans. We conducted secondary analysis of longitudinal data from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (SALSA). We used the structural equation modeling framework to achieve three specific aims: (1) identify a valid measure of PA, (2) describe within-person trajectories of PA and cognitive health, and (3) test the inter-relations of these two processes over time. Results showed that, on average, PA and cognitive ability (including verbal memory) decreased over time. Yet, there was significant variability in these patterns of change. Bivariate latent growth curve models showed significant correlations of baseline levels and rates of change of PA and cognitive ability even after controlling for age, education, sex, bilingualism, and depression. Results support the hypothesis that increases and decreases in PA tend to be related to increases and decreases in cognitive health at old age among Mexican Americans.