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Psychological Science and Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1814-2052

ISSN (online): 2311-7273

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/pse

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 1996

Published 6 times a year

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

 

Interpersonal Sensitivity in the Period of Self-Isolation and Its Role in the Choice of Social Distancing Measures 445

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Polskaya N.A.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7305-5577
e-mail: polskayana@yandex.ru

Razvaliaeva A.Yu.
PhD in Psychology, Assistant Researcher Research Laboratory of Cognitive Functioning Assessment and Development, RUDN University, Moscow, Russia
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2046-3411
e-mail: annraz@rambler.ru

Abstract
The present study was called forth by the relevant issue of COVID-19 pandemic. We emphasize that it emerged as a traumatic situation for many people, whereas measures against its spread further exacerbate psychological distress. In the current study we focused on interpersonal sensitivity in the clinical sense, as a heightened vulnerability to emotions and behaviors of the others linked to expectations of critique and rejection. The study examined the relationships between interpersonal sensitivity and a) protective measures against COVID-19; b) affiliation motivation, loneliness and current emotional state. The relationships were assessed employing correlation, regression and mediation analysis. The sample included 496 people (85,5% women and 14,5% men), aged 14—59 (M=20,42; SD=6,2).We used a survey including questions on adherence to social distancing recommendations and use of protective measures, the Russian versions of PANAS, UCLA Loneliness Scale, Mehrabian’s Affiliative Tendency and Sensitivity to Rejection Scales and Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure. The results show that interpersonal sensitivity increased in youth, positively correlated with negative affect, loneliness and fear of rejection, and negatively correlated with affiliation motivation, positive affect and self-reported psychological and physical state. Interpersonal sensitivity positively and affiliation motivation negatively predicted the choice of two protective measures: going out less and limiting contacts. Affiliation motivation mediated the relationship between interpersonal sensitivity and going out less.

Keywords: COVID-19, self-isolation, interpersonal sensitivity, fear of rejection, negative and positive affect, loneliness

Column: Psychological Well-Being

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/pse.2020250606

Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number № 20-013-00429.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to Maria Melnikova, Master’s student, for assistance in data collection.

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