Potential Predictors of Psychological Distress During Nationwide Covid-19 Quarantine: An Exploratory Study

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 potential risk factors that may exacerbate psychological distress among quarantined residents of Chennai city (Tamil Nadu, India).
Methodology: 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 (v) Kessler Psychological Distress Scale
Results: It is found that nearly 42% of the population is 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.
Conclusions: The results of the study emphasise 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.