Benefit finding and well-being over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic

PLoS One. 2023 Jul 27;18(7):e0288332. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0288332. eCollection 2023.


This study focuses on understanding benefit finding, the process of deriving growth from adversity, and its relationship to well-being amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants (n = 701) completed online surveys at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after a shelter-in-place mandate was announced in California, USA. Identifying as female or of Asian descent, having a supportive social network, and reporting more distress were associated with higher levels of general benefit finding at all data collection points, while other demographics were not. Benefit finding exhibited small but statistically significant associations with two measures of well-being. Understanding the extent to which various groups of people experience benefit finding during ongoing adversity and how such benefit finding is associated with well-being may help to promote mental health during a collective trauma like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grants and funding

Initial foundational funding for the Stanford Wellness Living laboratory (WELL) was provided by Amway via an unrestricted gift through the Nutrilite Health Institute Wellness Fund to Stanford University. Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by the Stanford Thailand Research Consortium.