We Are (Not) in the Same Boat: Sociodemographic Differences in Mental and Social Health during the First Year of Coronavirus Pandemic
Keywords:pandemic, mental health, social health, sociodemographic characteristics
AbstractThe study explores changes in mental and social health over two time points during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as differences in mental and social health among five sociodemographic groups determined by gender, age, socioeconomic status, education and employment status. The online survey was conducted during August and September 2020, and again during January 2021 on a probabilistic sample of adults in Croatia. A total of 958 adults participated in both time points. Our results indicate that, when there are any, changes in mental health are small, while changes in social health are slightly larger. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic seems to disproportionately affect different socioeconomic groups. Women, young adults, people with low socioeconomic status, with primary education and unemployed generally had worse mental health in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, some social health indicators deteriorated more among older participants, people with low socioeconomic status, primary education and unemployed. Future studies should continue to monitor changes in mental and social health and appropriate interventions for the most vulnerable should be planned and introduced.