Thinking too much about the novel coronavirus. The link between persistent thinking about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 anxiety and trauma effects
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Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Institute of Psychology, Humanitas University, Sosnowiec, Poland
Submission date: 2020-05-30
Final revision date: 2020-06-23
Acceptance date: 2020-06-24
Online publication date: 2020-10-21
Publication date: 2020-10-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2020;8(3):169–174
Earlier reports have shown that anxiety over the novel coronavirus may predict mental functioning during the pandemic. The objective of this study was to assess the links between persistent thinking about COVID-19, anxiety over SARS-CoV-2 and trauma effects. For the purpose of this study, the Polish adaptation of the Obsession with COVID-19 Scale (OCS) was imple-mented.

Participants and procedure:
The study involved 356 individuals aged 18-78 (58% females). In addition to OCS, the participants completed the following questionnaires: the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale and the Short Form of the Changes in Outlook Questionnaire.

OCS was characterized by satisfactory psychometric properties (α = .82). Regression analysis indicated that persistent thinking about COVID-19 was associated with increased coronavirus anxiety and negative trauma effects. In addition, anxiety served as a partial mediator in the link between persistent thinking about COVID-19 and negative trauma effects.

The data obtained suggest that persistent thinking about the pandemic may be dysfunctional for mental health during the spread of the infectious disease.

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