Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

COVID-19 Anxiety – A Longitudinal Survey Study of Psychological and Situational Risks among Finnish Workers

Version 1 : Received: 19 December 2020 / Approved: 21 December 2020 / Online: 21 December 2020 (15:39:19 CET)

How to cite: Savolainen, I.; Oksa, R.; Savela, N.; Celuch, M.; Oksanen, A. COVID-19 Anxiety – A Longitudinal Survey Study of Psychological and Situational Risks among Finnish Workers. Preprints 2020, 2020120533 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0533.v1). Savolainen, I.; Oksa, R.; Savela, N.; Celuch, M.; Oksanen, A. COVID-19 Anxiety – A Longitudinal Survey Study of Psychological and Situational Risks among Finnish Workers. Preprints 2020, 2020120533 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0533.v1).

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 crisis has changed the conditions of many throughout the globe. One negative consequence of the on-going pandemic is anxiety brought by uncertainty and the COVID-19 disease. Increased anxiety is a potential risk factor for wellbeing at work. This study investigated psychological, situational, and socio-demographic predictors of COVID-19 anxiety using longitudinal data. Methods: Nationally representative sample of Finnish workers (N = 1308) was collected before and during the COVID-19 crisis. Eighty percent of the participants responded to the follow-up study (N=1044). COVID-19 anxiety was measured with a modified Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory. Psychological and situational predictors included perceived loneliness, psychological distress, technostress, personality, social support received from work community, and remote working. Also, number of socio-demographic factors were investigated. Results: Perceived loneliness, psychological distress, technostress, and neuroticism were identified as robust psychological predictors of COVID-19 anxiety. Increase in psychological distress and technostress during the COVID-19 crisis predicted higher COVID-19 anxiety. Recent change in work field and decreased social support from work community predicted COVID-19 anxiety. Women and young people experienced higher anxiety. Conclusions: Different factors explain workers’ COVID-19 anxiety. Increased anxiety can disrupt wellbeing at work, emphasizing organizations’ role in maintaining an inclusive and caring work culture and providing technical and psychological support to workers during crisis.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; mental health; anxiety, work; stress; personality; loneliness

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