The current study examines the correlation between emotional stability and symptoms related to adjustment to the stresses related to the pandemic for parents and nonparents at the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel.
At the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak, governments prohibited public gatherings and demanded social distancing. These challenges may be especially difficult for individuals with low levels of emotional stability as adaptation difficulties may lead to stress-related outcomes, such as adjustment disorder symptoms. Additionally, in the face of a significant external threat and the demand for intensive joint familial time at home, the parental role becomes especially salient.
Two hundred forty-four Israeli adults filled in self-reported e-version questionnaires regarding emotional stability, adjustment disorder symptoms, and background variables. A cross-sectional design was used to examine the association between emotional stability and adjustment disorder symptoms, as well as the potential moderation by parenting status.
The findings revealed that the levels of emotional stability were negatively correlated with adjustment disorder symptoms, while being a parent mitigated this correlation. This correlation was nonsignificant among parents.
Conclusion and Implications
It appears that the identity salience of parental role in the current stressful situation and its associated strain may have overcome the advantage of emotional stability. The identity of being a parent has the potential to dismiss it. Here, the social role emerges as more forcible than the personality trait. Recommendations for practice are discussed.