Testing the Effects of an Affectionate Communication Intervention to Bolster Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study tested the efficacy of an affectionate communication intervention to help adults living in the United States bolster their mental health during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ninety-eight married and cohabitating adults were randomly assigned to one of three groups: increased affectionate communication (treatment), increased thankfulness (comparison), or no change in behavior (control). The final sample contained 73 adults (ntreatment = 26, ncomparison = 24, ncontrol = 23) who completed the four-week intervention that started in September and concluded in October 2020. Although post-hoc analyses revealed that participants in the treatment group were, on average, less affection deprived, less depressed, less lonely, and less stressed than those in the comparison and the control groups halfway through the intervention and at the end of the intervention, these findings should be interpreted with caution due to a successful comparison manipulation, but a statistically nonsignificant treatment manipulation. Speculation as to why the intervention failed to reject the null hypotheses is presented in the discussion before providing methodological recommendations for future interventions in this area of research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College