Ethnic Identity and COVID-19 Psychological Consequences: An Evaluation of Distress Tolerance as a Potential Moderator Among Latinx Persons



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Background: As a multifaceted disease, the COVID-19 virus has engendered a range of mental health consequences among Latinx. Ethnic identity has been established as a protective factor against negative mental health symptoms in prior-non COVID-19 work, but has not been evaluated within the COVID-19 context. Moreover, potential interpersonal factors such as distress tolerance may further inform the dynamic between ethnic identity and mental health symptoms occasioned by the COVID-19 virus among Latinx persons. To empirically evaluate these relationships, the moderating role of distress tolerance was evaluated between Latinx ethnic identity and COVID-19 related fear, sleep disturbance, and emotional vulnerability related to COVID-19. Methods: The current study sought to test the role of distress tolerance as a potential moderating factor between ethnic identity and COVID-19 related fear, emotional vulnerability, and sleep-related anxiety symptoms among 182 Latinx adult persons (70% male; Mage = 35.3 years; SD = 9.36; age range: 18-72 years). Results: Indeed, results were in line with expectations in that among Latinx individuals, ethnic identity worked synergistically with higher (versus lower) levels of distress tolerance to decrease risk across all four criterion variables. Conclusions: Overall, the current work provides initial empirical evidence that distress tolerance potentially mitigates the adverse psychological effects among Latinx persons during COVID-19.



COVID-19, Latinx, COVID-19 Fear, Distress Tolerance, Psychology