Examining the Mediating Effects of Stress on Fear of COVID-19 and Well-being Using Structural Equation Modeling

Int J Ment Health Addict. 2021 May 18;1-9. doi: 10.1007/s11469-021-00541-y. Online ahead of print.


This study focuses on the effects of fear factor due to COVID-19 on stress and well-being of college students in India. The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey among 625 Indian students across various Indian universities and structural equation modeling (SEM) has been performed for analyzing the data. The findings of the study show a positive effect of fear of COVID-19 on stress with β = .27, p < 0.05, and a negative effect on well-being (β = -.13, p < 0.05). The results also depicted the mediating role of stress between fear of COVID-19 and well-being. Therefore, it is suggested that measures must be taken by individuals, society, and policy makers to include mental health maintenance in the pandemic response activities. Further longitudinal studies in different geographical regions and demographics can provide a more generalized understanding of the relationship between the pandemic and mental health. The limitations, policy implications, and suggestions are discussed.

Keywords: COVID-19; Fear of COVID-19; Mental health; Stress; Students; Well-being.