Self-reported impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, affective responding, and subjective well-being: A Swedish survey

PLoS One. 2021 Oct 15;16(10):e0258778. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258778. eCollection 2021.


A rapid stream of research confirms that the COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat to mental health and psychological well-being. It is therefore important to identify both hazardous and protective individual factors during the pandemic. The current research explored the relationships between self-reported affective responding, perceived personal consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and subjective well-being. An online survey (N = 471) conducted in Sweden between June and September, 2020, showed that higher levels of irritability, impulsivity, and the tendency to experience and express anger were generally associated with more severe personal consequences of the pandemic, particularly in areas related to family life, work/study, and finances. While more severe impacts of the pandemic in these areas of life were directly associated with lower subjective well-being, emotion regulation through cognitive reappraisal appeared to moderate the extent to which consequences of the pandemic in other areas of life (i.e., social, free-time and physical activities) translated into decreased well-being. This suggests that cognitive reappraisal may serve to protect against some of the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Overall, the results indicate that the perceived consequences of the pandemic are multifaceted and that future research should examine these consequences using a multidimensional approach.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / psychology
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Self Report*
  • Sweden / epidemiology

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.