1. bookVolume 14 (2021): Issue 22 (June 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

The Fear of COVID-19, Demographic Factors, and Substance use in a Multinational Sample Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published Online: 28 Jun 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2021) - Issue 22 (June 2021)
Page range: 43 - 54
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

The global pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had mental health consequences such as fear. Scholars have argued that when people are fearful, they may use substances to escape from fear, and demographic variables can have implications on how to target interventions to people. To date, little is known about how the fear of COVID-19 and demographic factors may contribute to substance use amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From 3 June to 10 June 2020, a cross-sectional study was conducted with 202 residents (Mean age = 41.77 ± 11.85; age range = 18-70 years) in 14 countries. A standardized questionnaire was utilized for data collection, SPSS (version 22.0) was utilized for data analysis, and p < .05 implied statistical significance. Descriptive statistics revealed that residents in Canada scored the highest mean score in the fear of COVID-19 scale, while residents in Australia scored highest in the substance use scale. Further, fear of COVID-19 had a negative nonsignificant relationship with substance use (r = −.07; df = 200; p > .05). Males (Mean = 18.21) scored significantly higher than females (Mean = 14.06) in substance use [t (200) = 1.9; p < .05]. The younger age group (18-28 years) scored the highest mean score in substance use compared to older age groups (29-39 years, 40-50 years, 51-61 years, and 62-72 years); however, it was not significant [F (4, 197) = 2.04; p > .05]. These data contribute to informing future studies that add more questions regarding how different variables may contribute to substance use during subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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