Date of Graduation

7-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Sociology and Criminology

Advisor

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Committee Member

Casey Harris

Second Committee Member

Michael Niño

Keywords

COVID-19, Fear, Public Health, Social Research, Social Resources, Social Solidarity, Social Vulnerabilities

Abstract

Drawing from a sample of 10,368 adults living in the U.S., the current study examines the role of social and psychological resources in lowering COVID-related fear, threat, and worry, controlling for a number of social vulnerabilities (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, and presence of children). The impact of social location, particularly in regards to race, and how one accesses and/or utilizes social and psychological resources is also examined through disaggregated regression models. Results demonstrate that some social and psychological resources impact COVID-specific distress (fear/threat/worry), but depending on the resource, relationships vary in direction and significance. The strength of social ties and mastery of fate play a protective role in lessening perceived distress (fear/threat/worry) related to COVID. On the other hand, community connectedness significantly increases COVID-specific fear, threat, and worry while trust is not significant at all. Statistical analyses also demonstrate that social and psychological resources play a different protective role in lessening perceived distress related to COVID dependent on an individual’s social position and circumstance.

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