Perceived stress during COVID-19: Community resilience three years before the pandemic as a protective factor

Ohad Gilbar*, Marc Gelkopf, Talya Greene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Research indicates that stress increased across the globe after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community resilience has been suggested as a central protective factor for stress related to disasters and emergency crises. This study examined the contribution of community resilience reported three years prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with related worries and personal risk factors, to perceived stress among Israeli adults following the first wave of COVID-19 in Israel. We performed a two-period 3-year longitudinal study (Period 1 [P1]: July–September 2017; Period 2: [P2] May–June 2020). The final sample included 578 participants. Participants completed a community resilience self-report questionnaire during P1 as well as measures regarding perceived stress and COVID-19 worries during P2. Using linear hierarchical regression, we tested the additional explanatory effect of community resilience and found it to be negatively associated with perceived stress. While health-related worries were not significantly associated with perceived stress, worries related to the functioning of governmental and health institutions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic were significantly associated with perceived stress. Additionally, being single, living in a smaller residence and income reduction during the pandemic predicted higher perceived stress. The current study highlights the potential buffering role of community resilience in protecting against COVID-19 stress. Assessing community resilience may help identify vulnerable groups, and focusing on community building may be an effective strategy to mitigate stress in future disasters.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number103337
Pages (from-to)103337
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Community resilience
  • Government trust
  • Perceived stress
  • Risk factors


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