This news comes from the University of Minnesota where researchers found that individuals with higher education have experienced a greater increase in depressive symptoms and a greater decrease in life satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic than people with less education. Similarly, those with the highest incomes experienced a greater decrease in life satisfaction than those with lower incomes. The team analyzed data from two surveys of 1,143 U.S. adults and found significant declines in well-being from 2019 to 2020. The most common symptoms included:
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things
- Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
- Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
- Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
The researchers suggested that individuals with high income and education have had a strong expectation of constant availability of resources and therefore experience greater declines in well-being during times of crisis. Other possibilities suggested are that these people tend to have higher life satisfaction and less depressive symptoms to begin with, and therefore had more room for downward movement. Another possibility is that these folks simply spend more time following the news, resulting in a greater dip in their psychological well-being.
Connie R. Wanberg et al, “Socioeconomic Status and Well-being During COVID-19: A Resource-Based Examination, Journal of Applied Psychology. dx.doi.org/10.1037/apl0000831
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