Document Type: Original Article
Department of Psychology, M.O.P.Vaishnav College for Women, Affiliated to University of Madras, Chennai-40, India.
Introduction: As the world is navigating unchartered territories on account of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), mental health professionals face grimmer challenges. In line with this, the present study aims to explore the potential risk factors that may exacerbate psychological distress among quarantined residents of Chennai city (Tamil Nadu, India).
Method: A descriptive correlational research design was employed. The sample comprised of 231 individuals. Five standardised tools were employed to capture different psychological variables: (i) Body Vigilance Scale (ii) Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity Scale- Revised (iii) Fatalism Scale (iv) Death Anxiety Scale- Revised and (v) Kessler Psychological Distress Scale.
Results: It was found that nearly 42% of the population was experiencing mild to severe psychological distress due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Exploration of various psychological variables showed that death anxiety, disgust sensitivity, and perception of luck are significant predictors of psychological distress in the prevailing situation.
Conclusion: The results of the present study emphasize the need to move beyond the obvious factors that impair well-being during nationwide shutdowns to subtler, personality related factors such as sense of control and anxiety that can worsen mental health.