Altruism and anxiety:Engagement with online community support initiatives (OCSIs) during Covid-19 lockdown in the UK and Ireland

Elphick, Camilla and Stuart, Avelie and Philpot, Richard and Walkington, Zoe and Frumkin, Lara and Zhang, Min and Levine, Mark and Price, Blaine and Pike, Graham and Nuseibeh, Bashar and Bandara, Arosha (2020) Altruism and anxiety:Engagement with online community support initiatives (OCSIs) during Covid-19 lockdown in the UK and Ireland. arXiv. ISSN 2331-8422

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Abstract

Given concerns about mental health during periods of Covid-19 lockdown, it important to understand how engagement with online Covid-19 related material can affect mood. In the UK and Ireland, online community support initiatives (OCSIs) have emerged to help people manage their lives. Yet, little is known about how people engaged with these or whether they influenced subsequent mood. We conducted surveys to explore how people in the UK and Ireland engaged with OCSIs, and found that 70% did so to offer support (e.g. to provide company). Those who did so reported feeling significantly calmer afterwards, those who engaged for general concerns (e.g. in response to anti-social behaviour) reported feeling significantly more anxious afterwards, but there was no difference in reported mood for those who engaged for other reasons (e.g. to share experiences or views). Thus, engaging with an OCSI for altruistic purposes might help to make people feel calmer.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
arXiv
ID Code:
158338
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Sep 2021 16:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
19 Nov 2021 11:55