This study examined the relationship between media use, experiences of media use as having a negative and/or positive impact on coping, peritraumatic distress, anxiety symptoms and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. A convenience sample of 902 Israeli adults (mean age = 46.21) completed measures of peritraumatic distress, anxiety symptoms and resilience, and reported on their media use experiences one month following the initial outbreak of the disease in Israel (April 2020). After controlling for COVID-19 related events and demographic covariates, experiencing media use as having a negative impact on coping was related to higher levels of peritraumatic distress and anxiety symptoms and lower levels of resilience. In contrast, experiencing media as having a positive impact was not related to peritraumatic distress, anxiety symptoms or resilience. The findings suggest that those reporting that media use had a negative impact on coping are at greater risk of experiencing higher levels of peritraumatic distress and anxiety symptoms as well as lower resilience. In addition, traditional media use was related to higher resiliency. Developing understanding of how media could be used to optimally support emergency responses is crucial in order to minimize psychopathology. Unified, clear, trustworthy and informative messaging has a special importance during a mass public health crisis. Further research will contribute to guidance of potential risk and resilience aspects of media use during emergencies.
- Media use
- Peritraumatic distress
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry