Psychosocial variables and quality of life during the COVID-19 lockdown: A correlational study on a convenience sample of young Italians

Anna Lardone, Pierpaolo Sorrentino, Francesco Giancamilli, Tommaso Palombi, Trevor Simper, Laura Mandolesi, Fabio Lucidi, Andrea Chirico, Federica Galli

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In 2020, to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), many countries, including Italy, have issued a lengthy quarantine period for the entire population. For this reason lifestyle has changed, bringing inevitable repercussions to the Quality of Life (QoL). The present study aims to identify which psychosocial variables predict behaviors capable of affecting the QoL during the lockdown period, potentially highlighting factors that might promote well-being and health in the Italian population during the epidemic. Methods: Between 27 April 2020 and 11 May 2020, we administered a web-survey to a sample of young Italian people (age M = 21.2; SD = 3.5; female = 57.7% of the sample). Employing variance-based structural equation modeling, we attempted to identify whether social connectedness, social support, and loneliness were variables predictive of the QoL of young Italians. We also sought to identify specific psychological factors, such as symbolic threat, realistic threat, and the threat from potentially contaminated objects, was correlated to COVID-19 fear and whether engaging in particular behaviors was likely to improve the QoL. Results: Our results suggest that social connectedness and loneliness are significant predictors of QoL, while social support did not have a significant effect on QoL. Furthermore, we observed that symbolic and realistic threats and the threat from potentially contaminated objects are significant and positive predictors of COVID-19 fear. Moreover, COVID-19 fear had significant and positive relationships with the carrying out of specific behaviors, such as creative activities during the isolation period and that this related to affirming individuals' country-specific identity. Finally, COVID-19 fear is a significant predictor of behavioral factors related to the adherence to public health advice in line with national guidance regarding the containment of COVID-19; this factor, however, did not correlate with QoL. Conclusion: Our results suggest the importance of social context and psychological factors to help devise intervention strategies to improve the QoL during lockdown from epidemic events and, in particular, support the importance of promoting social communication and accurate information about the transmission of the virus.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10611
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020


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