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The role of Social Psychopathologies in Social Distancing during COVID-19

Anna Dapprich, Gero Lange, Eni Becker

Social distancing seems to be one of the most important strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whereas some people strictly follow the rules related to social distancing, others seem rather unaffected by them. Social anxiety and psychopathic traits are two psychological conditions, which are linked to extreme rule adherence and rule-transgressions, respectively. The current study examined whether social anxiety and psychopathic traits relate to differences in the compliance with social distancing over time. Furthermore, the role of experienced distress and anger were explored as potential moderators of this link. In order to do so, data was collected from April to May 2020 by means of an online survey including questionnaires on social distancing behavior, experienced distress, state anger, psychopathic traits and social anxiety. Four biweekly follow-up assessments took place asking for social distancing behavior during the last two weeks, experienced distress and state anger. The main survey was completed by 186 participants currently living in the Netherlands or Germany. Given that it is uncertain for how long the current situation will hold, it is important to understand who sticks to the rules and who doesn't. Based on this knowledge, tailored intervention programs can be developed in order to promote rule-consistent behavior.

Additional information:
Data is currently being analyzed

More information:
Anna Dapprich (a.dapprich@psych.ru.nl)