“What I thought was so important isn't really that important”: international perspectives on making meaning during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_E810AB54AF3C
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
“What I thought was so important isn't really that important”: international perspectives on making meaning during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
Journal
Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Author(s)
Todorova Irina, Albers Liesemarie, Aronson Nicole, Baban Adriana, Benyamini Yael, Cipolletta Sabrina, del Rio Carral Maria, Dimitrova Elitsa, Dudley Claire, Guzzardo Mariana, Hammoud Razan, Fadil Azim Darlina Hani, Hilverda Femke, Huang Qi, John Liji, Kaneva Michaela, Khan Sanjida, Kostova Zlatina, Kotzeva Tatyana, Fathima M.A., Anto Milu Maria, Michoud Chloé, Awal Miah Mohammad Abdul, Mohr Julia, Morgan Karen, Nastase Elena Simona, Neter Efrat, Panayotova Yulia, Patel Hemali, Pillai Dhanya, Polidoro Lima Manuela, Qin Desiree Baolian, Salewski Christel, Sankar K. Anu, Shao Sabrina, Suresh Jeevanisha, Todorova Ralitsa, Tomaino Silvia Caterina Maria, Vollmann Manja, Winter David, Xie Mingjun, Xuan Ning Sam, Zlatarska Asya
ISSN
2164-2850
Publication state
Published
Issued date
11/10/2021
Volume
9
Number
1
Pages
830-857
Language
english
Abstract
Background
The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the physical and mental health of people everywhere. The aim of the study is to understand how people living in 15 countries around the globe experience an unexpected crisis which threatens their health and that of loved ones, and how they make meaning of this disruption in their narratives.
Methods
Data were collected through an anonymous online survey during May–September 2020, which was during or just after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, depending on the country. The questionnaire included demographic and three open-ended questions as prompts for stories about experiences during the initial months of the pandemic. The text was analyzed through inductive thematic content analysis and quantified for full sample description, demographic and subsequently international comparisons.
Results
The final qualitative dataset included stories from n = 1685 respondents. The sample was 73.6% women and 26.4% men. The mean age of participants was 39.55 years (SD = 14.71). The identified four groups of overarching themes were: The presence and absence of others; Rediscovering oneself; The meaning of daily life; Rethinking societal and environmental values. We discuss the prevalence of each theme for the sample as a whole and differences by demographic groups. The most prevalent theme referred to disruptions in interpersonal contacts, made meaningful by the increased appreciation of the value of relationships, present in (45.6%) of stories. It was more prevalent in the stories of women compared to men (χ² = 24.88, p = .001).
Conclusions
The paper provides a detailed overview of the methodology, the main themes identified inductively in the stories and differences according to select demographic variables. We identify several major ways of making meaning of the pandemic. The pandemic has impacted many aspects of people’s lives which give it meaning, no matter where they live.
Keywords
Behavioral Neuroscience, General Psychology, Health(social science)
Open Access
Yes
Create date
17/10/2021 8:44
Last modification date
19/10/2021 5:39
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