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CE/CME Courses

Longitudinal Adaptation to Loss During COVID-19

1 CE/CME Credit
Instructor: Katie Lewis, PhD
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The impact of reduced social contact on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has been identified as a major public health concern. While personality factors such as attachment style have been associated with psychological distress during the pandemic, the longitudinal relevance of these factors and the role of daily social contact in mitigating distress remains poorly understood. This presentation reviews findings from a study that evaluated the impact of social contact and attachment style on changes in loneliness and suicidality over the course of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, using experience sampling methods and longitudinal follow-up design. The influence of both exposure to loss/bereavement as well as general attitudes towards grief were explored for their influence on adaptation as pandemic-related conditions continued to endure. Differences in the trajectory of risk, resilience, and adaptation in individuals with anxious versus avoidant attachment traits are described and implications for therapeutic treatment reviewed. Findings overall confirm the relevance of both enduring personality characteristics and daily social behaviors as risk factors for poor emotional health outcomes during the pandemic and point to potential targets for clinical intervention and future empirical study.