Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Kevin Fitzpatrick

Committee Member

Casey Harris

Second Committee Member

Michael Niño


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


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.