Predictors of anxiety in the COVID-19 pandemic from a global perspective: Data from 23 countries

Silvia Donato, Valentina N. Burkova, Marina L. Butovskaya, Ashley K. Randall, Julija N. Fedenok, Khodabakhsh Ahmadi, Ahmad M. Alghraibeh, Fathil Bakir Mutsher Allami, Fadime Suata Alpaslan, Mohammad Ahmad Abdelaziz Al-Zu’Bi, Derya Fatma Biçer, Hakan Cetinkaya, Oana Alexandra David, Seda Dural, Paige Erickson, Alexey M. Ermakov, Berna Ertuğrul, Emmanuel Abiodun Fayankinnu, Maryanne L. Fisher, Lauren HockerIvana Hromatko, Elena Kasparova, Alexander Kavina, Yahya M. Khatatbeh, Hareesol Khun-Inkeeree, Kai M. Kline, Fırat Koç, Vladimir Kolodkin, Melanie Maceacheron, Irma Rachmawati Maruf, Norbert Meskó, Ruzan Mkrtchyan, Poppy Setiawati Nurisnaeny, Oluyinka Ojedokun, Mohd S. B. Omar-Fauzee, Barış Özener, Edna Lúcia Tinoco Ponciano, Muhammad Rizwan, Agnieszka Sabiniewicz, Victoriya I. Spodina, Stanislava Stoyanova, Nachiketa Tripathi, Satwik Upadhyay, Carol Weisfeld, Mohd Faiz Mohd Yaakob, Mat Rahimi Yusof, Raushaniia I. Zinurova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Prior and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have resulted in substantial changes to everyday life. The pandemic and measures of its control affect mental health negatively. Self-reported data from 15,375 participants from 23 countries were collected from May to August 2020 during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two questionnaires measuring anxiety level were used in this study—the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), and the State Anxiety Inventory (SAI). The associations between a set of social indicators on anxiety during COVID-19 (e.g., sex, age, country, live alone) were tested as well. Self-reported anxiety during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic varied across countries, with the maximum levels reported for Brazil, Canada, Italy, Iraq and the USA. Sex differences of anxiety levels during COVID-19 were also examined, and results showed women reported higher levels of anxiety compared to men. Overall, our results demonstrated that the self-reported symptoms of anxiety were higher compared to those reported in general before pandemic. We conclude that such cultural dimensions as individualism/collectivism, power distance and looseness/tightness may function as protective adaptive mechanisms against the development of anxiety disorders in a pandemic situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Collectivism
  • Cross-cultural
  • Individualism
  • Looseness
  • Power distance
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Stress
  • Tightness


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