Exploring state-level variabilities between perceived community resilience and posttraumatic stress symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic: Multilevel modeling approach.

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Considering the variabilities in the spread of the novel coronavirus (causing COVID-19) in the United States, the current study aimed at examining the variabilities in people’s levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) across the states. Specifically, the associations between PTSS and both individual-level factors (i.e., perceived community resilience, symptoms of COVID-19, and demographic variables) and state-level factors (i.e., state population, population density, the proportion of African American individuals, gross domestic product per capita, and a number of COVID-19 cases), as well as a potential moderation effect of a state-level factor between perceived community resilience and PTSS were examined. The final sample included 548 participants nested within 46 states of the United States, who participated in the study via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk between April 2 and April 9t, 2020. There were significant associations between all individual-level factors and PTSS. Regarding the association between the state-level factors and PTSS, states with greater population and COVID-19 cases were associated with higher levels of PTSS, although population density was negatively associated with PTSS. Furthermore, the percentage of African American individuals residing in a state moderated the relation between perceived community resilience and PTSS. The moderating effect of gross domestic product per capita was also marginally significant. These results imply the importance of taking into account the state-level variabilities in examining PTSS during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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