The Impacts of Propensity to Worry and Fear of COVID-19 on Mental Health of University Students
Bursa Uludağ University, Faculty of Education, Bursa, Turkey
Epidemics and pandemics are difficult periods for the affected community, specifically in the proliferation of mental health issues. In such adverse times, factors of psychological vulnerability such as propensity to worry and low emotional stability might have a detrimental effect on the mental health of the individuals. To investigate the impact of such factors on mental health, this study examined the impacts of propensity to worry and fear of COVID-19 on anxiety depending on the individuals’ levels of emotional stability. As a means of such investigation, this study was conducted based on quantitative data, and the research sample was selected using a convenient sampling method. Participants included 304 university students (71.6% were women and 28.4% were men; MAge = 22.37 ± 3.04) and responded to the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, Fear of COVID-19 Scale, Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, and 10-Item Personality Inventory. The moderated mediation analysis using PROCESS macro (Model 14) was performed to examine the study hypotheses. Results revealed that propensity to worry was associated with anxiety symptoms. Fear of COVID-19 mediated this link and emotional stability moderated the relationship between propensity to worry and anxiety. The findings showed that trait worry, trait emotional stability, and fear of COVID-19 are determinants of anxiety symptoms, suggesting that such factors are important in understanding these issues.