Maintaining psychological well-being amidst the COVID-19 pandemic : The beneficial effects of health-promoting behaviors and sense of control

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationCurrent Psychology
Online published21 Mar 2023
Publication statusOnline published - 21 Mar 2023


The present research reports the findings of three studies, with objectives to demonstrate the impacts of health-promoting behaviors on psychological well-being as well as the mediating roles of sense of control (SOC) and perceived severity of COVID-19 in these relationships. Study 1 was a cross-sectional survey conducted in 473 middle-aged and older Chinese adults before the COVID-19 pandemic to assess their health-promoting behaviors, personal mastery and perceived constraints, life satisfaction, and depressive symptoms. Study 2 was conducted during the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong (between March to April 2020), in which 292 participants from Study 1 were successfully contacted to report their emotional responses to the pandemic. Using a different sample, Study 3 was a longitudinal study that measured 495 participants’ health-promoting behaviors, personal mastery and perceived constraints at baseline, and their perceived severity and mental health outcomes during the outbreak of omicron cases in Hong Kong (i.e., the fifth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak) in March 2022. All three studies demonstrate that the beneficial effects of health behaviors can be extended to psychological well-being and reveal possible underlying mechanisms through enhancing one’s SOC and lowering perceived severity of the COVID-19 outbreak. These results provide important insights to future health promotion programs for improving psychological resources and psychological well-being of middle-aged and older adults in face of disease-related threats. © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2023.

Research Area(s)

  • Health behavior, Sense of control, Perceived severity, Psychological well-being, Coronavirus disease