Social Distancing and Mental Health

Below you'll find just a sampling of resources you’ll find in the Research Library on the topic of social distancing and mental health.

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Example Resources

Local Decision Making for Implementing Social Distancing in Response to Outbreaks

Authors: Katz, Rebecca; Vaught, Andrea; Simmens, Samuel J.
Source: Public Health Reports. March 2019, Vol. 134 Issue 2, p150-154.

Social distancing is the practice of restricting contact among persons to prevent the spread of infection. This study sought to (1) identify key features of preparedness and the primary concerns of local public health officials in deciding to implement social distancing measures and (2) determine whether any particular factor could explain the widespread variation among health departments in responses to past outbreaks.

Protection Motivation Theory and Social Distancing Behaviour in Response To a Simulated Infectious Disease Epidemic

Authors: Williams, Lynn; Rasmussen, Susan; Kleczkowski, Adam; Maharaj, Savi; Cairns, Nicole
Source: Psychology, Health & Medicine. October 2015, Vol. 20 Issue 7, p832-837.

Epidemics of respiratory infectious disease remain one of the most serious health risks facing the population. Non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g. hand-washing or wearing face masks) can have a significant impact on the course of an infectious disease epidemic. The current study investigated whether protection motivation theory (PMT) is a useful framework for understanding social distancing behaviour (i.e. the tendency to reduce social contacts) in response to a simulated infectious disease epidemic.

Differences by Race in Social Work Students' Social Distancing, Treatment Options, and Perceptions of Causes of Mental Illness

Authors: Wang, Donna; Locke, Christopher; Chonody, Jill
Source: Journal of Social Service Research. October 2013, Vol. 39 Issue 5, p646-661.

Research has shown that racial and cultural differences are related to the degree of social distancing associated with mental illness, beliefs about what causes mental illness, and what treatment options are best; however, there is little information on how this may manifest in social workers’ perceptions of these issues. This cross-sectional survey analyzed the differences in perceptions by race of 835 students enrolled in social work classes in the United States.

Ecological Disasters and Mental Health: Causes, Consequences, and Interventions

Authors: Morganstein, Joshua C.; Ursano, Robert J.
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry. February 2020, p1-15.

Ecological disasters highlight the importance of understanding natural disasters as they relate to a changing global climate. Such disasters often have a predictable pattern of evolving over time and anticipated psychological and behavioral problems and community disruptions. Various factors enhance transmission of these adverse effects beyond the geographic location of the ecological disaster, with certain populations being particularly vulnerable to these effects. Understanding the range and pattern of these effects can aid in optimizing interventions.

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