Perfectionistic Cognitions Pre-Pandemic Predict Greater Anxiety Symptoms During the Pandemic Among Emerging Adults: A Two-Wave Cross-Lagged Study
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy | Uitgave 3/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
This study employed a two-wave cross-lagged panel analysis to examine associations between perfectionistic cognitions, anxiety, and depression pre-pandemic to during the pandemic in a sample of 171 (57% female, n = 98) emerging adults. Results demonstrated that perfectionistic cognitions decreased, anxiety increased, and depressive symptoms did not change pre-pandemic to during the pandemic. Cross-lagged results indicated that pre-pandemic perfectionistic cognitions predicted higher levels of anxiety symptoms (but not depressive symptoms) during the pandemic after accounting for pre-pandemic levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. These results held with the inclusion of covariates (i.e., sex, age, education, exposure to COVID-19, whether or not participants knew someone diagnosed with COVID-19, had lost income due to the pandemic, and how often they thought about COVID-19). Psychological distress (i.e., anxiety and depressive symptoms) pre-pandemic did not predict perfectionistic cognitions during the pandemic after accounting for pre-pandemic levels of perfectionistic cognitions. Results support assertions that individuals with heightened levels of perfectionism are at an increased risk for poorer mental health during the pandemic. Findings underscore the importance of assessing perfectionistic cognitions for the prevention and treatment of anxiety symptoms among emerging adults during and post-pandemic.