Emerging Adults and Social Distancing During COVID-19: Who Was More Likely to Follow Guidelines and What Were the Correlates With Well-Being and Weight-Related Behaviors?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study is to identify the prevalence, predictors, and psychosocial well-being (depressive symptoms, stress) and weight-related behavior (eating behaviors, physical activity, and sedentary behavior) correlates of social distancing during COVID-19 among emerging adults. A rapid-response survey was sent to participants (n=720; mean age=24.7 ± 2.0 years, 62% female) in a population-based cohort study in Minnesota during April–October 2020. Half of emerging adults reported fully social distancing. Emerging adults from White backgrounds were least likely to social distance while those from Asian backgrounds were most likely to social distance, in addition to those living with a parent. Females who partially/did not social distance reported less healthy eating behaviors, while males and “essential workers” reported higher levels of psychosocial distress. Public health messaging and practical supports for social distancing may need to be made more relevant to emerging adults during public health crises. Resources may need to differ depending on sex of emerging adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-678
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was supported by NHLBI grant number R35 HL139853 (PI: Neumark-Sztainer). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood and SAGE Publishing.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • eating behaviors
  • emerging adults
  • emotional well-being
  • physical activity
  • social distancing

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