Social capital, income loss, and psychobehavioral responses amid COVID-19: A population-based analysis

Tsz Wai LI, Tatia Mei-chun LEE, Robin GOODWIN, Menachem BEN-EZRA, Li LIANG, Huinan LIU, Wai Kai HOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the associations of perceived social capital and income change since the outbreak with probable depression and preventive behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong. Random digit dialing recruited a population-representative sample of 3011 Hong Kong Chinese aged ≥ 15 years (mean = 44, 55% females) between February 25 and April 29 2020. Respondents reported social capital (perceived interpersonal trust, social harmony, and sense of belonging), income change since the outbreak (loss vs. gain/no change), depressive symptoms, preventive behaviors, and demographics. Controlling for sociodemographics, lack of perceived interpersonal trust was associated with probable depression and avoiding contact with people with respiratory symptoms. Lack of perceived sense of belonging was associated with probable depression and decreased odds of adopting preventive behaviors. Lack of perceived social harmony was associated with probable depression and increased odds of used face masks among respondents with income loss only. Our results suggest that social capital is related to lower risk of depression and to higher chance of used face masks particularly among those experiencing income loss related to COVID-19. Prevention of mental health problems and promotion of effective preventive behaviors could be implemented by focusing on support for those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Copyright © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8888
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number23
Early online date29 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2020

Citation

Li, T. W., Lee, T. M.-C., Goodwin, R., Ben-Ezra, M., Liang, L., Liu, H., & Hou, W. K. (2020). Social capital, income loss, and psychobehavioral responses amid COVID-19: A population-based analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(23). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238888

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Social capital
  • Income loss
  • Preventive behaviors
  • COVID-19

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