ORIGINAL PAPER
Epidemics among perceived impacts on Latvia before and during COVID-19: emerging threats versus stability
 
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1
University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia
2
Daugavpils University, Daugavpils, Latvia
3
Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Valmiera, Latvia
Submission date: 2020-07-31
Final revision date: 2020-10-27
Acceptance date: 2020-10-28
Online publication date: 2020-12-07
Publication date: 2020-12-07
 
Health Psychology Report 2021;9(2):129–137
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
In the time of global challenges, perception of the ongoing change at different levels of social systems modu-lates individual expectations, decisions, and emotional health. A previous study in Latvia revealed that per-ceived threats, globalization, political power, and personal control form the latent structure of perceived impacts on the country. The present study assessed the stability of this structure, comparing a relatively favorable situa-tion and the situation of the COVID-19 emergency in Latvia.

Participants and procedure:
Two successive independent samples included 254 and 171 university students in 2019 and 2020, respective-ly. Participants assessed the impact of 15 factors on Latvia: personal impact, parents and relatives, friends, people of Latvia, political parties and leaders, Saeima (the parliament of Latvia), the government of Latvia, the European Union, the United States, other countries, global economic crises, war and military conflicts, terror-ism, epidemics, and natural disasters.

Results:
A series of confirmatory factor analyses established partial invariance of the model. During the COVID-19 emergency, a significant shift in the perceived impact of epidemics, natural disasters, and global economic crises combined with the relative stability of personal, meso-, and macro-level factors.

Conclusions:
This stability indicates possible resources for balancing perceived threats in the situation of successful coping with COVID-19 in Latvia in Spring 2020.

 
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