The Prevalence of Psychological Distress and its Associations with Attentional Control and COVID-19 related Behaviors in an Iranian Sample

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

2 Department of Psychology, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Humanities, Sadjad University, Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran


Introduction: The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence rates of depression, anxiety, and stress in residents of Mashhad in the early phases of COVID-19. Moreover, the current study investigated the associations of attentional control and responses related to the COVID-19 with depression, anxiety, and stress.
Method: This research was a cross-sectional correlational study that was conducted on 336 residents of Mashhad in 2020. The tools used in this study were researcher-made questionnaire, namely the COVID-19 related Behaviors scale (CB-19), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), and the Attentional Control Scale (ACS). Data were analyzed by SPSS (version 22.0) and logistic regression analyses. A P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The psychometric analyses showed a good model fit for the CB-19 with two factors, including health behavior and psychological behavior subscales. A prevalence rate of 41.37%, 31.85%, and 30.36% was observed for depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. In the regression analysis, poor focusing, and high levels of psychological responses related to the COVID-19 were risk factors of depression, anxiety, and stress (p<0.001).
Conclusion: According to the findings of the present study it can be stated that high levels of psychological responses and poor focusing can predict depression, anxiety and stress during COVID-19.


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