2004
Volume 96, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0025-9454
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2816

Abstract

Abstract

The corona pandemic has a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of the Dutch population. This article, based on a large-scale internet survey (N = 22,696) on the social impact of COVID-19, firstly examines which social groups are most susceptible to the mental health impact of the virus. Secondly, we examine whether social capital provides protection against this impact. We find that the mental health impact of COVID-19 is considerable and that it increased over the course of 2020. Women, young people, respondents with low incomes and/or poor health experience relatively more fear and stress due to the virus. We do not find a difference between respondents with or without a migration background. Social capital (received support, trust in people and in institutions) has the expected effect: the more support and trust, the less fear and stress. There is a mediation effect. Older people, respondents with high incomes and/or good health experience less fear and stress, partly because they have more social capital. This is different for females. They would experience even more fear and stress, compared to men, were it not for the fact that they have more social capital. Hence we conclude that social capital indeed provides some protection against the negative mental health effects of COVID-19.

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2021-05-01
2021-06-19
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): COVID-19; mental well-being; social capital; social support; trust

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