COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Socioeconomic Inequality in Psychological Distress in the UK: An Update   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), has tracked its participants with web-based Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] Surveys during the first two waves of the pandemic, between April 2020 and March 2021. This paper addresses socioeconomic inequality in mental health, measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and extends the work of Davillas and Jones (2021) that presented results for the first wave of Covid in the UK between April and July 2020. The contribution of this short paper is to extend the span of the UKHLS Covid-19 Survey data to include all survey waves. This allows us to follow the progress of the UK population's mental wellbeing during the easing of the first national lockdown, the period of limited restrictions during the summer of 2020 and the second national lockdown up to March 2021. After the outbreak of Covid-19 there was a substantial deterioration in population mental wellbeing and the prevalence of mental problems increased (e.g., Banks and Xu, 2020). The experience of mental health problems is disproportionate across groups, by gender, age, race and socioeconomic status. Groups with disadvantaged backgrounds such as lower socioeconomic positions and pre-existing psychological distress were more likely to experience adversities including job loss and financial stress, and difficulties accessing basic requirements like food and medical care (Pierre et al., 2021)."

Report Number:
IZA DP No. 14790; Institute of Labor Economics Discussion Paper No. 14790
IZA Institute of Labor Economics
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics: https://www.iza.org/
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