Mental health deterioration caused by COVID-19 pandemic varied by gender and ethnicity among British people

In the journal PLOS One, a team of British researchers showcased how mental health decline exhibited among different ethnic groups and genders, varied, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Probing data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, particularly focusing on responses from participants taken in April 2020, the study was able to analyze more than 14,000 people who gave their input about the pandemic.

From the data, about 91 percent were White British, while the remaining participants were of another ethnicity, such as a minority, for instance.

According to researchers: “The observed differences in the increase in mental distress by ethnicity and gender cannot be explained by existing differences across individuals in demographic or socioeconomic characteristics that are accounted for in the long regressions.”

“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,” researchers also inferred in their findings.

“We call for additional research on the potential differential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by ethnicity, and urge both policy makers and researchers to allocate resources to collect larger sample sizes of minority ethnic groups.”

The study was authored by Eugenio Proto and Climent Quintana-Domeque.

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