When pandemic interferes with work: Psychological capital and mental health of social workers during COVID-19

Chun Yip Henry HO, On Sang CHUI, Ying Chuen CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not only limited to physical health but also extends to various aspects of everyday life. The present study proposes that the prolonged pandemic can lead to pandemic–work conflict (PWC). The article examines how the pandemic interferes with work, the association between PWC and mental health, and the underlying mechanism of this process. A total of 303 full-time social workers in Hong Kong responded to measures on PWC, psychological capital (PsyCap), and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Data were collected between February and April 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak was beginning to worsen; 15.8 percent and 14.9 percent of the participants reported mild to severe anxiety and depression, respectively. Time-based PWC was positively associated and strain-based PWC was negatively associated with PsyCap, which was in turn negatively associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms. PsyCap was a significant mediator of these relationships. The findings suggest that the relationship between strain-based PWC and psychological distress can be explained by PsyCap, whereby the depletion of psychological resources may contribute to anxiety and depressive symptoms. Positive psychological resources may be an intervening point for promoting mental health among the social services workforce. Copyright © 2022 National Association of Social Workers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Work
Early online date03 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 03 Aug 2022

Citation

Ho, H. C. Y., Chui, O. S., & Chan, Y. C. (2022). When pandemic interferes with work: Psychological capital and mental health of social workers during COVID-19. Social Work. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/sw/swac035

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Mental health
  • Psychological capital

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'When pandemic interferes with work: Psychological capital and mental health of social workers during COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.