A recent study conducted by researchers at Bangor University has revealed that individuals who strictly followed Covid lockdown rules experienced worse mental health compared to those who did not adhere as closely. The study found that individuals with “communal” personalities, characterized by their caring nature and sensitivity to others’ needs, were more likely to adhere rigorously to the lockdown protocols recommended by Boris Johnson and health experts. However, these individuals also displayed higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
On the other hand, individuals with “agentic” personalities, who are more independent and competitive, were less likely to exhibit strict adherence to the rules and experienced better mental health outcomes. The findings suggest that different personality traits influenced how individuals responded to the pandemic and coped with the associated stressors.
Dr. Marley Willegers, an academic at Bangor University, explained that the fear of catching Covid played a dual role in individuals’ mental wellbeing. While it effectively drove compliance, it also had negative consequences on people’s mental health and recovery. The study highlighted the challenges faced by certain personality types in transitioning from a period of receiving regular public health advice to a lack of guidance when lockdown ended.
The Centre for Mental Health thinktank expressed concern over the enduring poor mental health experienced by those who followed the rules, emphasizing the lasting impact of the pandemic on individuals’ well-being. The charity Rethink Mental Illness echoed this sentiment, acknowledging that the early days of the pandemic brought significant disruption, uncertainty, and a loss of control, factors that contribute to anxiety and low mood.
The study’s implications extend beyond the immediate impact of the pandemic. The increased demand for NHS psychological and psychiatric services in recent years reflects the widespread damage caused to mental health in Britain. Moving forward, the researchers emphasize the need for future health advertising campaigns to consider the diversity of personality types within the population. Instead of solely focusing on responsibility towards others, campaigns should also highlight the personal costs and benefits associated with behavioral changes.
Overall, this research sheds light on the complex relationship between personality traits, adherence to Covid restrictions, and mental health outcomes. By understanding these nuances, future interventions and support systems can be tailored to better accommodate the diverse needs of individuals during times of crisis.
Q: What were the main findings of the study?
A: The study found that individuals with “communal” personalities who strictly followed Covid lockdown rules experienced worse mental health outcomes. In contrast, individuals with “agentic” personalities, who are more independent, exhibited better mental health outcomes.
Q: Why did people with different personality types have varied mental health outcomes?
A: Personality traits influenced individuals’ responses to the pandemic and how they coped with associated stressors. “Communal” individuals displayed higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, while “agentic” individuals were less likely to adhere strictly and had better mental health outcomes.
Q: What implications does this study have?
A: The study highlights the importance of considering diverse personality types in future public health campaigns and interventions. Effective support systems need to recognize the unique needs and challenges faced by different individuals during times of crisis.
Q: How has the pandemic affected mental health in Britain?
A: The pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, leading to increased demand for NHS psychological and psychiatric services. The enduring effects of the pandemic continue to impact individuals’ well-being even after the easing of restrictions.
Q: How can future campaigns address the mental health needs of different personality types?
A: Future campaigns should not only emphasize individuals’ responsibility towards others but also highlight the personal costs and benefits associated with behavioral changes. This targeted approach can better accommodate the diverse needs of individuals.