Soares LS, Rodrigues AC, de Paula JJ, Thorell LB, de Miranda DM
Curr Psychol - (-) 1-8 [2021-11-06; online 2021-11-06]
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unusually stressful situation for many people around the world. Due to the restrictions, many have been isolated in their homes, and having a responsive partner may have become even more important. The present study aimed to investigate (1) whether there were any differences in social and work-related stressors and changes in negative mood during the COVID-19 pandemic as a function of marital status, and (2) whether perceived partner responsiveness can attenuate the associations between COVID-19-related stressors and changes in negative mood. The participants were 2,400 Brazilian adults recruited via the Internet, using a virtual sampling strategy. They were assigned to three distinct groups based on their relationship status. The results showed that a relatively large proportion of the sample reported increased levels of negative mood, and that married/cohabitating couples reported low levels of negative change in mood compared to single participants. We also found that partner responsiveness attenuated the association between stress and mental health, but only for people who were dating. Our study contributes new insights by showing that effects on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic are dependent on relationship type and perceived partner responsiveness.