COVID-19 and mental health deterioration by ethnicity and gender in the UK

Proto, E. and Quintana-Domeque, C. (2021) COVID-19 and mental health deterioration by ethnicity and gender in the UK. PLoS ONE, 16(1), e0244419. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244419) (PMID:33406085)

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Abstract

We use the UK Household Longitudinal Study and compare pre-COVID-19 pandemic (2017-2019) and during-COVID-19 pandemic data (April 2020) for the same group of individuals to assess and quantify changes in mental health as measured by changes in the GHQ-12 (General Health Questionnaire), among ethnic groups in the UK. We confirm the previously documented average deterioration in mental health for the whole sample of individuals interviewed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we find that the average increase in mental distress varies by ethnicity and gender. Both women –regardless of their ethnicity– and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) men experienced a higher average increase in mental distress than White British men, so that the gender gap in mental health increases only among White British individuals. These ethnic-gender specific changes in mental health persist after controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Finally, we find some evidence that, among men, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani individuals have experienced the highest average increase in mental distress with respect to White British men.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Proto, Professor Eugenio
Authors: Proto, E., and Quintana-Domeque, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Proto, Quintana-Domeque
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 16(1):e0244419
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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