The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on health and well-being worldwide and there is increasing recognition of the need to understand the psychological impact of COVID-19 experiences and stress in addition to the physical health consequences.
The present study examined how experiences related to COVID-19 and associated stress impact, anxiety, depression, and functional impairment in a convenience sample of 565 American adults (57.9% male) recruited through MTURK.
COVID-19 experiences were consistently associated with higher odds of probable anxiety and depression diagnoses (ORs ≥ 3.0). COVID-19 associated stress also predicted large proportions of variance (R2 ≥ 30) in anxiety, depression, health anxiety, and functional impairment in latent variable analyses.
These findings highlight that personal experiences related to the diagnosis of COVID-19, mortality in acquaintances, and COVID-19 associated stress is associated with a greatly elevated risk of emotional disorder symptomatology and that the COVID-19 pandemic may result in increased demand for mental health services.