Optimism and Fear of Infection as Predictors of Observing Stay-at-Home Recommendations During COVID-19 Pandemic



According to COVID-19 research, the introduction of a self-isolation and quaran¬tine regime is an effective measure to contain the pandemic. The article examines the problem of psychological factors of observing stay-at-home recommendations, among which the main attention is paid to two types of optimism in a pandemic situation: constructive optimism and defensive optimism. It was assumed that they would have the opposite effect on adherence to the self-isolation regime, and the negative effect of defensive optimism would be mediated by a decrease in illness anxiety or fear of infection. To test this hypothesis, a longitudinal study (with an interval of six weeks) was carried out in a sample of 306 students (89% of women) using a life orientation test, the scales of constructive and defensive optimism by Gordeeva et al., and anxiety in a pandemic situation questionnaire by Tkhostov and Rasskazova. The results confirm our hypotheses: people who adhere to the stay-at-home recommendations are characterized by a higher level of construc¬tive optimism, i.e. they believe that their efforts will help prevent infection and spread of the virus. In contrast, people who demonstrate unrealistic or defensive optimism, that is, who believe that the issue of coronavirus is exaggerated, fear infection less and admit that they do not strictly adhere to the requirements of self-isolation. These results indicate that, in addition to dispositional optimism, situation specific constructive and defensive optimism are essential in explaining health behavior, with the latter type of optimism serving as a response to anxiety associated with fear of the disease and its consequences.

General Information

Keywords: optimism, anxiety, fear of infection, adherence to recommendations to stay at home, pandemic of COVID-19

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp.2021290303

Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-04-60174.

For citation: Sychev O.A., Gordeeva T.O., Vindeker O.S., Dovger M.A., Titova Grandchamp V.A. Optimism and Fear of Infection as Predictors of Observing Stay-at-Home Recommendations During COVID-19 Pandemic. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2021. Vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 24–44. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2021290303. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Oleg A. Sychev, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher of Research Departament, Shukshin Altai State University for Humanities and Pedagogy, Biysk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0373-6916, e-mail: osn1@mail.ru

Tamara O. Gordeeva, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychologiy, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leading Research Fellow, International Laboratory of Positive Psychology of Personality and Motivation, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3900-8678, e-mail: tamgordeeva@gmail.com

Olga S. Vindeker, PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Associate, Associate Professor, Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1443-3718, e-mail: olgatt@yandex.ru

Maria A. Dovger, PhD student, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3778-6209, e-mail: dvger.masha@rambler.ru

Victoria A. Titova Grandchamp, PhD student, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2693-9035, e-mail: vtitova@vermare.com



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