Are Attitudes towards COVID-19 Pandemic Related to Subjective Physical and Mental Health?
In this paper, we investigate the relationship between a person’s psychological distress, subjective physical health and their attitudes towards the COVID-19 pandemic. The evaluation was performed on the basis of data from two waves of the Saxon Longitudinal Study, carried out in 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 2021. The number of study participants in both waves was 291. We tested in autoregressive cross-lagged models the stability of the respondents’ health status before and during the pandemic and reviewed their influence on attitudes towards COVID-19. Our results show that COVID-19-related concerns are controlled by subjective physical health, while pandemic denial is linked to psychological distress. In an unknown and critical situation, with limited control over the situation, the strategy of avoidance or suppression may be used by individuals for protection by psychologically downplaying the stressor and danger.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; COVID-19 anxiety; pandemic denial; longitudinal data; Germany