Depression and Loneliness during COVID-19


According to a new study by Indiana University researchers, Americans experienced more depression and loneliness during the early COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who were able to keep frequent in-person social and sexual connections had better mental health outcomes.

This study was led by author and assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, Molly Rosenberg.

Maya Luetke is the co-author of the study and doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

The study looked at the prevalence of depression and loneliness during the COVID-19 response and examined their associations with frequency of social and sexual connections.

According to the study, one-third of participants (31 percent) reported depressive symptoms in the past week, and they were more likely to be women, age 20-29, unmarried, in the lowest income bracket, and living alone. This number is nearly four times higher than previous estimates among American adults.

Researchers conducted an online cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of American adults aged 18-94 from April 10-20, 2020.

They assessed depressive symptoms, loneliness, frequency of in-person and remote social connections, like, hugging family member, video chats, and sexual connections

Including partnered sexual activity and dating app use.

The study also looked at relationship tension and increased tensions among participants due to the spread of COVID-19 and related restrictions with those reporting romantic relationships.

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