A network analysis of adolescent mental well-being during the coronavirus pandemic: Evidence for cross-cultural differences in central features

Meenakshi Shukla, Alison F.W. Wu, Iris Lavi, Laura Riddleston, Taryn Hutchinson, Jennifer Y.F. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented threat globally. Adolescents and youth may be especially susceptible to the long-term impact of these stressors, thus intervening early is an important priority. However, it is also crucial to understand how young people maintain psychological well-being in the face of adversity, particularly given that many nations are experiencing further waves of the pandemic. The understanding of such resilient outcomes could inform the development of programs to encourage positive mental health.We explored adolescents' resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic stress by examining core aspects of well-being across countries using network analysis. Using the short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, cross-sectional data was collected online from adolescents from India (N = 310; Males = 159, Females = 151, aged 12–18 years), Israel (N = 306; Males = 154, Females = 152, aged 12–18 years) and the United Kingdom (UK; N = 1666; Males = 598, Females = 1068, aged 12–25 years). Two highly similar network clusters were identified for UK and Israel, with three clusters emerging for India. UK and Israeli networks centred on “dealing with problems well” while the Indian network centred on “feeling useful”. As central items highlight aspects of well-being that influence or are influenced by other aspects, these findings may inform interventions to safeguard adolescent mental health during future phases of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111316
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume186
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection for the Israel sample was funded by the University of Haifa Start-up grant, given to the third author. Data collection for the UK sample was funded by Rosetrees Trust to the last/corresponding author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Cross-cultural
  • Network analysis
  • Resilience
  • Well-being
  • Young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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