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Pandemic-Related Stress and Other Emotional Difficulties in a Sample of Men and Women Living in Romantic Relationships during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors
  • Kozakiewicz, Alicja1
  • Izdebski, Zbigniew1, 2
  • Białorudzki, Maciej1
  • Mazur, Joanna1
  • 1 Department of Humanization of Health Care and Sexology, Collegium Medicum, University of Zielona Góra, 65-046 Zielona Gora, Poland
  • 2 Department of Biomedical Aspects of Development and Sexology, Faculty of Education, Warsaw University, 00-561 Warsaw, Poland
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 08, 2023
Volume
20
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20042988
PMID: 36833681
PMCID: PMC9957324
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which relationship quality affects variability in perceived stress and other emotional difficulties associated with the pandemic. The study was conducted 2–17 March 2022 using a self-administered online survey. The sample size consisted of 1405 individuals who were in a romantic relationship. The scales used in the study included the PSS-4, ECR-RS, SLS-12 and the standardized Pandemic-ED scale (RMSEA = 0.032). Increased stress levels (U = −5.741), pandemic-related emotional difficulties (U = −8.720), worse romantic relationship quality (U = −2.564) and more frequent anxiety-related attachment (U = −3.371) were characteristic of women. A hierarchical regression model for stress showed that age (b = −0.143), financial situation (b = 0.024), the ECR-RS scores (b = 0.219) and pandemic-related emotional difficulties (b = 0.358) proved to be statistically significant predictors of stress. The hierarchical regression model for pandemic-related emotional difficulties indicated five predictors: gender (b = 0.166), education (b = 0.071), financial situation (b = 0.203), scores on the ECR-RS scale (b = 0.048) and stress (b = 0.367). The SEM model used has satisfactory fit indices (RMSEA = 0.051), romantic relationship quality scores and attachment styles interact with the variability of perceived pandemic-related stress and burdens. The determined model offers conclusions relevant to clinicians working with individuals and couples during periods of intense stress.

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