The outbreak of the novel 2019 SARS2-Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to substantial psychological distress across the United States and the world. However, emerging work suggests that prominent COVID-19 consequences such as fear of COVID-19 infection and emotional distress resulting from economic adversity and social distancing may afflict the Latinx population disproportionately. The current study sought to investigate the influence of experiential avoidance (EA), or an individual’s tendency to rigidly avoid negative internal experiences (i.e. feelings, thoughts, etc.), on the severity of COVID-19 fear and emotional distress symptoms due to economic adversity and social distancing.
Participants included 188 Latinx persons recruited via an online survey panel program.
Results indicated that EA was a statistically significant contributing factor to fear of COVID-19 and emotional distress associated with economic adversity and social distancing. These effects were evident over and above the variance accounted for by gender, years living in the United States, education, and COVID-19 related work and home life stress.
Overall, the present work is the first to document empirically EA as it relates to fear of COVID-19 infection and related emotional distress resulting from economic adversity and social distancing among Latinx persons.