Abstract

Transmission of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) occurs efficiently and from symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, therefore making it highly infectious. As such, social distancing is generally recommended to mitigate the speed of transmission and decrease incidence, hospitalization, and mortality rates. Consistent with other chronic medical conditions, COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Hispanic/Latinx and black populations. One inherent cultural concept, familism, might also serve to inhibit adherence to social distancing guidelines. Thus, the current study contributes to the growing literature on COVID-19, specifically examining barriers underscoring health disparities. This study evaluated Attitudinal Familism (AFS) and Behavioral Familism (BFS) as predictors of adherence of social distancing. It also examined pandemic related adverse events as a predictor of anxiety and depressive symptoms, across varying familism levels. A national survey of 253 participants (Hispanic/Latinx = 117; Non-Hispanic/Latinx = 136) was conducted using social media and chain referral (snowball) sampling. Results of hierarchical linear multiple regressions revealed that higher levels of Attitudinal Familism and Behavioral Familism were significant predictors of greater contact with family members and increased use of protective behaviors in Hispanic/Latinx participants. Higher number of pandemic adverse events also significantly predicted a greater level of depression and anxiety across all subjects, however higher levels of Attitudinal and Behavioral Familism served as a protective factor decreasing the influence of these events on symptoms. The main results of this study support the hypothesis that higher levels of familism increase the risk of family contact. On the other hand, familism was also found to increase the likelihood of using protective behaviors and to decrease the negative impact of pandemic adverse events on psychological functioning.

Graduation Date

2020

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Cassisi, Jeffrey

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology; Clinical Psychology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008345

Language

English

Release Date

December 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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