The Impact of COVID-19 Disruptions and Perceived Discrimination on Well-Being and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Testing the Moderating Role of Exercise Among African American and Asian American Emerging Adults

the Spit for Science Working Group

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Abstract

The current study tested whether COVID-19 disruptions and perceived discrimination were related to mental health (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] symptoms and emotional, psychological, and social well-being), and whether exercise moderated relations. Additionally, we tested whether findings varied by ethnicity/race. Participants were 368 African American and Asian American emerging adults (Mage = 19.92, SD =.34). Findings did not vary by ethnicity/race. COVID-19 disruptions predicted poorer emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and more PTSD symptoms. Discrimination predicted more PTSD symptoms. Exercise was associated with better emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and moderated the relation between COVID-19 disruptions and emotional well-being. At low levels of exercise, COVID-19 disruptions predicted poorer emotional well-being, but this relation was not significant at high levels of exercise. Findings highlight that discrimination and disruptions during the pandemic negatively affect African American and Asian American emerging adults’ mental health, but that exercise plays an important protective role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic
  • exercise
  • perceived discrimination
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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