Emotional reactions and subjective health status during the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel: the mediating role of perceived susceptibility

Levkovich Inbar, Shiri Shinan-Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The general consensus is that COVID-19, the virus spreading rapidly across the globe, affects physical health but also mental health and mental well-being. This study aimed to assess the associations among emotional reactions toward COVID-19, knowledge about COVID-19, perceived susceptibility to this disease, and subjective health status. This study was a cross-sectional study conducted among 1,085 Israeli adults who completed an online survey between April 23 and May 5, 2020. The self-administered questionnaire included questions about emotional reactions to COVID-19, knowledge about COVID-19, perceived susceptibility, subjective health status, and sociodemographic variables. Participants (aged 18-96) reported high levels of emotional reactions to COVID-19. Most respondents were worried (77.4%), afraid (62.8%) or stressed (55.3%). Emotional reaction scores were higher among women than among men. In the regression model, emotional reactions were higher for older participants, those who rated their subjective health status as poorer, and those who were employed, with the final model explaining 11.6% of the variance in emotional reactions. Perceived susceptibility significantly mediated the relationship between subjective health status and emotional reactions. The high prevalence of emotional responses among women, older people and those with lower subjective health ratings points to the need for intervention programs primarily targeting these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

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© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • COVID-19
  • emotional reactions
  • knowledge about COVID-19
  • perceived susceptibility
  • subjective health status


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