The mediating role of emotion regulation difficulty between health anxiety and state anxiety in Iranian adults during coronavirus pandemic

نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی


1 Founder and faculty member of Iranian Emotion-Focused Therapy Institute, Tehran, Iran

2 M. A. student of clinical psychology, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 MS. in family counseling, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 M. A. student of clinical psychology, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health (Tehran Institute of Psychiatry), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Introduction:  The aim of the present study was to investigate the mediating role of emotion regulation difficulties between health anxiety and state anxiety during coronavirus pandemic.
 Materials and Methods: The present study is a descriptive-correlation of structural equations. The statistical population of the study includes all Iranian adults who lived in Mashhad between April and May 2020 from which 370 Iranian adults were selected as the sample by the convenient sampling method. The Spielberg State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) and the Health Anxiety Inventory (HAI-18) were used. Data analyzed using Pearson correlation method and structural equation analysis.
 Results: The results show that the components of health anxiety, which include getting sick (P=0.02), patient outcomes (P=0.02), and general health concerns (P=0.01), have a significant effect on state anxiety through the emotion regulation difficulties with effects of 0.27, 0.30 and -0.14, respectively. Increasing (decreasing) the getting sick and the patient outcomes components of health anxiety increases (decreases) the state anxiety by increasing (decreasing) the emotion regulation difficulties. However, increasing (decreasing) general health concerns lead to a decrease (increase) in state anxiety by decreasing (increasing) emotion regulation difficulty.
 Conclusion: Individual who have higher subscales of "getting sick" and "patient outcomes" in health anxiety perceive more anxiety in situations where their health is at risk. But people with higher "general health concerns" subscale have better emotion regulation and perceive less anxiety in these situations.


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