Loneliness and Depressive Symptoms during the COVID-19: the Role of Rumination
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Quarantine is implemented to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, while this act may increase people’s feeling of loneliness and depression. College students as a vulnerable group facing the dramatic change of social interaction are mainly studied. There are three objectives in this study. Firstly, we examine the relationship between loneliness and depression during COVID-19. Secondly, we examine the mediating and moderating role of rumination and its subtypes (i.e., brooding and reflection) in linking loneliness and depression. Third, we examine the role of gender in loneliness, rumination and depression. Method: 1258 participants that are mostly college students participated in any anonymous online survey. Results: Structural equation modeling showed that loneliness was correlated to depression during COVID-19 even after accounting for levels of loneliness before COVID-19. The relation between loneliness and depression was significantly mediated by both brooding and reflection, such that higher levels of loneliness during COVID-19 was associated with increased brooding and reflection which was directly related to higher levels of depression. Regression analysis showed that brooding and reflection moderated the loneliness- depression link, such that the association between loneliness and depression was attenuated for individuals with lower levels of rumination. While gender was not associated with depression severity, although females had higher rumination than male. Conclusion. Rumination is a critical risk factor for individuals who are most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loneliness; Rumination; Brooding; Depression; Reflection; COVID-19