The role of adolescents’ personal and social resources in achieving desired emotional and behavioral outcomes during an anxiety-provoking pandemic outbreak

Shira Bukchin-Peles*, Tammie Ronen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Considering adolescents’ developmentally driven stressors and social needs, they may be particularly vulnerable to the anxiety associated with the public health and economic crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they may have difficulty following the mandated contagion prevention directives. The current study focused on the role of adolescents’ positive personal resources (self-control, hope) and environmental resources (peer support) in two desired outcomes during the COVID-19 outbreak: wellbeing (i.e., maintaining/increasing positivity ratio) and contagion prevention behaviors (i.e., increasing handwashing). Path analysis was conducted using online survey data collected from a representative sample of 651 Israeli adolescents (ages 13–17). Positive resources were found to be both positively intercorrelated and negatively correlated with pandemic-related anxiety and positively with increased handwashing. Self-control correlated positively with social support, which, in turn, correlated positively with the positivity ratio (i.e., more positive than negative affects) and pandemic-related anxiety. Self-control and pandemic-related anxiety both correlated positively with increased prevention behavior. This study highlights the vital role of positive resources in achieving desired psychological and behavioral outcomes for adolescents during the anxiety-provoking pandemic. Beyond its theoretical innovation, this study offers practical value by focusing on malleable variables that could be the focus of dedicated interventions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6280
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Handwashing
  • Positive personal resources
  • Social resources

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