The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the lives of millions of individuals physiologically, behaviorally, socially, and/or psychologically. Moreover, there is now much empirical evidence that mental health problems have increased during the pandemic period and these problems have various consequences. The changes in the mood states of individuals due to the pandemic underpins the rationale of the present study. The aim of the study was to identify the cross-sectional associations between fear of COVID-19, stress, anxiety, and depression by using two stage-meta-analytic structural equation modeling (TS-MASEM).
This is a meta-analytic structural equation modelling study.
A systematic literature review initially identified 4840 studies. As a result of applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 25 studies comprising 28 samples (reporting 120 effect sizes) were eligible for inclusion in the current TS-MASEM (N = 16,452).
The results showed significant associations between fear of COVID-19, stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, the mediation role of anxiety in the association between depression and fear of COVID-19 and stress was explored.
Although the results did not allow for causal inferences regarding depression, they provide insight into the possible consequences of fear of COVID-19 and comorbid problems for clinicians and researchers.