Space at home and psychological distress during the Covid-19 lockdown in Italy

J Environ Psychol. 2022 Feb:79:101747. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101747. Epub 2021 Dec 13.


Prolonged periods of restrictions on people's freedom of movement during the first massive wave of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that most people engaged in all their daily activities at home. This suggested the need for the spatial features of the home and its occupants' perception of them to be investigated in terms of people's wellbeing. The present study was conducted on a large sample (N = 1354) drawn from different Italian regions. It examined the relationship between the "objective" and "subjective" dimensions of the home, measured in terms of objective home crowding and satisfaction with the space at home, in relation to perceived stress and the perceived risk of COVID-19 infection during the lockdown. The results showed that perceived stress is influenced by objective home crowding through the mediation of satisfaction with the space at home. These associations were more pronounced in younger generations. The negative association between satisfaction with the space at home and perceived stress was higher, the lower the perceived COVID-19 risk.

Keywords: COVID-19; Crowding; Perceived risk of COVID-19 infection; Perceived stress; Restricted movement; Satisfaction with the space at home.