Prediction of Commitment to Social Distancing by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Corona Anxiety during Social Distancing Period in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran


Introduction: After the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, social distancing was recommended in order to prevent its spread. The current investigation was carried out to study whether commitment to social distancing could be predicted by corona-related anxiety and posttraumatic-stress disorder symptoms.
Method: The cross sectional study was carried out on 595 individuals, who completed the questionnaires online. Convenience sampling was used for this purpose. The used questionnaires included the Impact of Event Scale (IES), Corona Disease Anxiety Scale (CDAS) and the Commitment to Social Distancing Scale (CSDS). The data analysis was done in two sections: descriptive and inferential. In the descriptive section, frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, independent t-test, and one-way ANOVA were utilized. In inferential section, exploratory factor analysis, Cronbach’s alpha, Pearson correlation and multiple regression were utilized. The data were analyzed using SPSS-24.
Results: The results indicated that there was significant correlation between the impacts of all the components of the impact of event scale, except for avoidance with commitment to social distancing. Regression analysis showed that the total model was significant (adjusted r2= 0.099, f= 15.05, Sig= 0.01), and corona anxiety (β=0.319; p<0.05) and hyper-arousal subscale of the IES (β= 0.211; p<0.05) can significantly predict commitment to social distancing.
Conclusion: Informing the society of the importance of adherence to health instructions cannot solely lead to social distancing, therefore, policymakers need to combine public awareness with a little anxiety and alertness so that people follow health guidelines.


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