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Social and Personality Psychology Compass ; 2023.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-20245309


Cultures responded to the COVID-19 pandemic differently. We investigated cultural differences in mental health during the pandemic. We found regional differences in people's reports of anxiety in China over two years from 2020 to 2021 (N = 1186). People in areas with a history of rice farming reported more anxiety than people in wheat-farming areas. Next, we explored more proximal mechanisms that could help link the distal, historical factor of rice farming to people's modern experience of anxiety. Rice areas scored higher on collectivism and tight social norms than wheat areas, and collectivism, rather than norm tightness, mediated the rice-anxiety relationship. These findings advance our understanding of the distal sources of cultural differences, the proximal mechanisms, and mental health problems during the pandemics.

Social and Personality Psychology Compass ; 2023.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-20230940


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought unrelenting waves of xenophobia against people representing vulnerable populations, among them those identified as Asians or more specifically as Chinese. Although previous studies have found that some discriminatory actions against overseas Chinese were closely related to mask use during the pandemic, there is not much evidence that explicates what might be the social-cultural triggers or impact of self-other mask discrepancy. The current study aims to examine how a mask use gap impacts perceived discrimination and anxiety during the first outbreak of COVID-19, and how perceived discrimination mediates the mask gap-anxiety relationship. This was operationalized by developing a new "mask gap" variable to capture the incongruent mask use norms between Chines and others around them in the host country. Data were collected from a cross-sectional sample of Chinese (n = 745) residing in 21 countries from March to May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. Results showed the newly explicated "mask gap" variable was associated with a higher level of anxiety. In addition, perceived discrimination mediated the mask gap-anxiety relationship. These findings advance both theoretical and practical understandings of how incongruent social norms impact discrimination and mental health during health threat events like the COVID-19 pandemic. The results also suggest important implications for both societal responses and the mental health of sojourners or immigrants during pandemics.

Social and Personality Psychology Compass ; 2023.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2328009


The COVID-19 pandemic may have been a difficult time to join a new organization. Drawing on the feelings-as-information theory, this study explores how COVID-19 lockdown anxiety influenced newcomers' job satisfaction during their first few months of work. We tested 357 new employees working in 84 cities across China. We conducted a longitudinal study, and participants were invited to complete the same survey at two time points. Cross-lagged panel analysis was conducted to test our hypotheses. We confirmed that COVID-19 lockdown anxiety at Time 1 predicted less job satisfaction at Time 2, whereas the data did not support the idea of reverse causality. These findings suggest public health crises like the pandemic can impact newcomers' job satisfaction, especially during China's Zero-Covid Policy.

Human Arenas ; 5(4):634-653, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2082773


The global crises we currently face, ecological, refugee-related and dealing with austerity arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic share a common feature. Together they have the capacity to call into question shared understandings of what constitutes the physical, political and psychological boundaries of home. Consensual understanding (social representations) of home, if unexamined, risks retaining primordial, stable, bounded and historically continuous dimensions. The focus of this article, to this end, is the public's understanding of home. The "un-homing" techniques used by populist leaders are brought into dialogue with how citizens, as dialogical selves, talk about home. The contours of common-sense on belonging are being informed;it is proposed by a third wave of decolonization. Stimulus-led interviews (N = 76) were conducted in England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden. Dialogical analysis shows the public use two social representations relating to (i) freedom of movement and (ii) how the world is organized. These social representations decolonize home beyond national/transnational boundaries towards the transglobal. Citizens, irrespective of degree of migration, navigate future (in) securities using intergenerational dialogue. This serves to anchor transglobal migration-mobility to intergenerational continuity and the possibilities of travelling together through life. Public dialogue, when diffracted into a spectrum of positions on home, has the capacity to counter black/white, us/them, xenophobic protectionism within nationalist populism. In conclusion, scientific studies which reveal the depths of public capacity may become centrally important to post-pandemic recovery.