Can Fear of COVID-19 Be Predicted by Religiosity and Trust in Institutions among Young Adults? A Prospective Cross-National Study

Dominika Ochnik, Aleksandra M. Rogowska, Ana Arzenšek, Joy Benatov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to reveal whether religiosity and trust in institutions are longitudinal predictors of change in fear of COVID-19 (FCV-19) across Poland, Germany, Slovenia, and Israel among young adults over a three-month period. The representative sample consisted of 1723 participants between the ages of 20 and 40 years (M = 30.74, SD = 5.74) across Poland (n = 446), Germany (n = 418), Slovenia (n = 431), and Israel (n = 428). The first measurement was carried out in February 2020 and the second was conducted in May/June 2020. A repeated-measures, two-way, mixed-factor ANOVA was performed to examine changes over time (T) and across countries (C) as well as the interaction of time and country (TxC) for FCV-19, religiosity, and trust in institutions. The results showed a significant decrease over time and differences between countries in all variables, as well as in TxC for FCV-19 and trust in institutions. Linear generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used to assess the longitudinal change between T1 and T2 in FCV-19, including religiosity and trust in institutions as predictors, country as a factor, and gender and age as confounders. Female gender, religiosity, and trust in institutions were found to be significant longitudinal predictors of change in FCV-19. Country was a significant moderator of the relationship between trust in institutions and FCV-19, with the highest result achieved in Poland. Religiosity and trust in institutions were positive predictors of change in fear of COVID-19 among young adults across countries. Religious and governmental institutions should take this into consideration when communicating with believers and citizens during challenging situations.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6766
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • a longitudinal study design
  • fear of COVID-19
  • religiosity
  • trust in institutions
  • young adults

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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