In this study, we evaluated whether levels of receptive arts engagement (visiting museums/concerts/the theater/the cinema) during the year preceding the COVID-19 outbreak may have served as a psychological resource for older adults that mitigated the association between resilience levels and COVID-19 anxiety when the pandemic broke out. Data were collected after the enactment of the first emergency regulations (between March 15 and April 1, 2020) via the Qualtrics Survey Software link that was sent out through social media platforms. In total, 205 participants aged 65 to 92 (mean age, 72.32; SD, 5.63) reported general anxiety symptom levels (GAD-7) (Spitzer et al., 2006), resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale), frequency of receptive arts engagement in the previous year, health status, exposure to risk situations, and behavioral changes due to the pandemic. Our hypothesis that receptive arts would moderate the resilience-COVID-19 anxiety link was examined by a multiple hierarchical regression analysis and with the PROCESS computational tool. Findings show that resilience was associated with COVID-19 anxiety and that this association was moderated by levels of receptive arts engagement. The findings show that high levels of prior art engagement constituted a potent buffer against subsequent COVID-19 anxiety. Policy makers may benefit older adults by encouraging their engagement in arts activities, even during social distancing.
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- cultural engagement
- older adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health