» COVID-19 National Mental Health Study (Spring 2020)

The Chapman University COVID-19 National Mental Health Study (Spring 2020) examined the experiences of 4149 people living in the United States.  Participants came from all 50 states and Washington DC.  The study was led by Dr. David Frederick, an Associate Professor of health psychology at Chapman University, along with 11 members of the Chapman University Center for Excellence in Biopsychosocial Approaches to Health

The study was funded by a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant provided to Chapman University by the Kay Family Foundation.  The authors are currently seeking additional funding to recruit additional participants and follow current participants over time.

People interested in taking the survey can complete it and be entered into a lottery for $250 at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PAESsurveySM

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COVID-19-induced interruptions to daily patterns likely play a role in the changes in eating and exercise behavior reported by roughly 2/3 of respondents. Stable environmental contexts are a prerequisite for habits and as a result, life events that eliminate familiar contextual cues are favorable for disrupting existing habits, both healthy and unhealthy. Whether someone’s work lunch consists of a trip to the gym or a visit to the fast-food restaurant around the corner, this pattern is broken without going to the office. When attempting to build new, positive habits at home, piggybacking desired behaviors onto existing in-home habits can be an effective strategy. Have a piece of fruit after your morning coffee or take a walk around the block after taking out your trash." said Dr. Vincent Berardi, a computational health scientist who conducts research on how to get people to engage healthier behaviors.


RELATING TO THE FINDINGS THAT PEOPLE IN FRONTLINE JOBS DID NOT PERCEIVE GREATER OVERALL RISKS TO COVID-19 THAN OTHERS:  "It could be the case that some people go into work in these jobs because they perceive fewer risks of it being dangerous.  The opposite could be true as well, that doing these types of jobs makes people feel more confident about infection risk. “Common sense usually leads us to think that behavior follows emotion – for example ‘we run because we are afraid.’  But research in emotion going back to William James at the turn of the last century, and cognitive dissonance research in the 1950s suggests that the opposite is often true, that ‘we are afraid because we run,’” says Dr. David Pincus, a clinical psychologist who studies psychotherapy and resilience.   


Dr. David Frederick

Dr. David Frederick

Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of the Culture, Evolution, and Behavior Laboratory