The ABC-X’s of Stress among U.S. Emerging Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Relationship Quality, Financial Distress, and Mental Health
AffiliationDepartment of Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona
structural equation modeling (SEM)
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CitationLeBaron-Black, A. B., Yorgason, J. B., Curran, M. A., Saxey, M. T., & Okamoto, R. M. (2022). The ABC-X’s of Stress among U.S. Emerging Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Relationship Quality, Financial Distress, and Mental Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(20).
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AbstractMany emerging adults have experienced increased financial distress and mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, and isolation may have amplified the importance of close relationships (especially as parents’ influence diminishes during this developmental stage). Using the ABC-X Model to frame our model, we tested whether financial distress (C) mediates the associations between COVID-19 impact (A) and anxiety and depressive symptoms (X), and whether or not romantic relationship quality (B) moderates these indirect associations. Our sample comprised of 1950 U.S. emerging adults in a romantic relationship. Mediation and first-stage moderated mediation were tested using structural equation modeling. Financial distress partially mediated the association between COVID-19 impact and anxiety symptoms and fully mediated the association between COVID-19 impact and depressive symptoms. Strong evidence of moderated mediation was found but in the opposite direction expected: the indirect associations of COVID-19 impact with anxiety and depressive symptoms (through financial distress) were stronger for those in high-quality romantic relationships. The findings may inform policy and practice aimed at optimizing the mental health of emerging adults, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: specifically, alleviating financial distress may improve the mental health of emerging adults, while focusing on the quality of their romantic relationships may not. © 2022 by the authors.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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