Social Axioms and Fear of COVID-19: a Multigroup Analysis of the Relationship among Student Youth of the three Countries

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Abstract

Objective. In our study we implemented analysis of the COVID-19 fear, the hierarchy of social axioms and the equivalence of the relationships between fear of COVID-19 and social axioms among students-millennials, citizens of post-Soviet States with different strategies for dealing with the pandemic. Background. The risk of being traumatized by fear of COVID-19 requires monitoring of this fear manifestation among different socio-demographic groups. It is additionally important to identify the psychological factors that reduce fear. Study design. Empirical data were collected through the online survey from January 2021 to April 2021. The data were processed using Mann-Whitney U-criterion as well as multigroup structural equation modeling (MGSEM). Participants. Russian-speaking university students aged 18 to 25 participated in the study. They were citizens of Belarus (208 respondents, 25% men), Kazakhstan (200 respondents, 26% men) and Russia (250 respondents, 25% men). Measurements. The online questionnaire included the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S), tested on the Russian-language sample by A. Reznik with colleagues, and the “Social Axiom Questionnaire” (QSA-31), developed and tested by A.N. Tatarko and N.M. Lebedeva. Moreover, the online question¬naire included questions about socio-demographic characteristics. Results. The study showed that the fear of COVID-19 is higher among Kazakhstanians and Belarusians than among Russians. Students of these countries have the same hierarchical structure of social axioms. Additionally they have the positive relationship of the COVID-19 fear to the social axiom “fate control” and the negative relationship of the COVID-19 fear to the social axiom “social complexity”. Conclusions. Fear of COVID-19 is more prevalent among young people in countries with the weakest and most severe restrictive measures during the pandemic. Students-millennials are more focused on the axioms «reward for application» and «social complexity» than on the axioms «social cynicism», «religiosity» and «fate control». The belief in the complexity of the social world and the denial of total fate control over human life can be psychological resources of COVID-19 fear preventing among youth.

General Information

Keywords: social axioms, fear of COVID-19, student youth, Belarusian youth, Kazakhstanian youth, Russian youth, millennial generation, multigroup analysis.

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/sps.2022130207

Funding. The article was prepared within the framework of the HSE University Basic Research Program.

Received: 28.12.2021

Accepted:

For citation: Murashcenkova N.V. Social Axioms and Fear of COVID-19: a Multigroup Analysis of the Relationship among Student Youth of the three Countries. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2022. Vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 89–108. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2022130207. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Nadezhda V. Murashcenkova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Psychology, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0793-3490, e-mail: ncel@yandex.ru

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