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Men's psychological well-being during COVID-19: the moderator role of posttraumatic growth

  • Martim Santos1
  • Ana Mónica Machado1
  • Ana Cristina Bernardo1
  • Ângela Leite2
  • M. Graça Pereira1

1Research Center in Psychology (CIPsi), School of Psychology, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

2School of Human and Social Sciences, University of Tràs-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.079 Vol.17,Issue 4,September 2021 pp.62-71

Submitted: 03 April 2021 Accepted: 13 May 2021

Published: 30 September 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): M. Graça Pereira E-mail:

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Background and objective: Men are significantly affected by COVID-19 stressors that impact psychological well-being. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between distress, risk perception, emotional representations, preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors, COVID-19 traumatic stress, posttraumatic growth, and psychological well-being, taking also into consideration sociodemographic variables as well as the moderator role of posttraumatic growth in the relationship between traumatic stress and psychological well-being.

Material and methods: A cross-sectional design was used. Data were collected during the lockdown, in Portugal, from January to March 2021. The sample included 220 men who answered the questionnaires online.

Results: Anxiety and depression symptoms (distress), traumatic stress, and emotional representations were negatively associated with psychological well-being. Older men, professionally active men, and men not in teleworking reported greater psychological well-being. The findings also showed that less emotional representations, less traumatic stress, and lower levels of distress contributed to greater psychological well-being. Finally, posttraumatic growth played a moderating role in the relationship between traumatic stress and psychological well-being.

Conclusion: Interventions and further studies must consider the buffering role of posttraumatic growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on helping men handle the associated traumatic stress in order to promote psychological well-being.


Psychological well-being; Posttraumatic growth; Men; COVID-19; Traumatic stress; Distress; Emotional representations; Risk perception; Preventive infection behaviors

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Martim Santos,Ana Mónica Machado,Ana Cristina Bernardo,Ângela Leite,M. Graça Pereira. Men's psychological well-being during COVID-19: the moderator role of posttraumatic growth. Journal of Men's Health. 2021. 17(4);62-71.


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