Role of social determinants in anxiety and depression symptoms during COVID-19: A longitudinal study of adults in North Carolina and Massachusetts

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kari Eddington (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Trajectory studies of the COVID-19 pandemic have described patterns of symptoms over time. Yet, few have examined whether social determinants of health predict the progression of depression and anxiety symptoms during COVID-19 or identified which social determinants worsen symptom trajectories. Using a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse sample of adults participating in a randomized clinical trial with pre-existing moderate to severe depression and/or anxiety symptoms, we compare symptom patterns before and during COVID-19; characterize symptom trajectories over a 20-week follow-up period; and evaluate whether social determinants are associated with within- and between- person differences in symptom trajectories. Data were collected before and during COVID-19 in Massachusetts and North Carolina. On average, depression and anxiety symptoms did not seem to worsen during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic. During COVID-19, anxiety scores at follow-up were higher for participants with baseline food insecurity (vs no food insecurity). Depression scores at follow-up were higher for participants with food insecurity and for those with utilities insecurity (vs no insecurity). Participants with child or family care responsibilities at baseline had depression symptoms decreasing at a slower rate than those without these responsibilities. We discuss the important implications of these findings.

Additional Information

Alegría, M., Cruz-Gonzalez, M., O'Malley, I. S., Alvarez, K., Stein, G. L., Fuentes, L., Eddington, K., Poindexter, C., Markle, S. L., Thorndike, A. N., Zhang, L., & Shrout, P. E. (2022). Role of social determinants in anxiety and depression symptoms during covid-19: a longitudinal study of adults in north carolina and massachusetts. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 154. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2022.104102
Language: English
Date: 2022
Covid-19, Depression, Anxiety, Trajectories, Social determinants of health, racial/ethnic minorities

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