Pandemics create many rapid changes and unstable situations to all individuals, which cause great fluctuations in emotional experiences among individuals. To further advance the understanding of the psychological impact of pandemics, the present study examined the relationship between the fluctuation of perceived stress and emotional variability during the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Two 14-day daily diary studies were conducted between February and March 2020 to track the dynamics of perceived stress and emotional states among individuals. Study 1 with a student sample in Hong Kong revealed that greater fluctuations of perceived stress associated with COVID-19 were correlated with greater emotional variability, especially when the intensity of stress was high. Study 2 with a community sample in mainland China replicated the findings. It further revealed that the moderating effect of stress intensity was not significant when the stressor was not specified, suggesting the specificity of psychological impact of the pandemic. The present research highlights the importance of understanding the nuanced role of different stressors in shaping individuals’ emotional experiences during the pandemics. Copyright © 2021 American Psychological Association.
CitationXia, W., Li, L. M. W., Jiang, D., & Liu, S. (2021). Dynamics of stress and emotional experiences during COVID-19: Results from two 14-day daily diary studies. International Journal of Stress Management. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/str0000234
- Emotional variability
- Fluctuations of stress
- PG student publication