Fear, Perceived Threat, and Anxiety During COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mediating Role of Cognitive Control/Flexibility and Intolerance of Uncertainty

2024 35(1): 24-33
DOI: 10.5080/u27017
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Objective: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between
fear of COVID-19, perceived threat of COVID-19, anxiety, cognitive
control/flexibility, and intolerance to uncertainty. In addition, the
mediating role of cognitive control/flexibility and intolerance to
uncertainty were investigated.
Method: 224 volunteers aged between 18-55 years were included in the
study. Cognitive Control and Felxibility Scale, Intolerance of Uncertainty
Scale, Fear of COVID-19 Scale, Perceived COVID-19 Threat Form and
Beck Anxiety Scales were administered to all participants via an online
environment. In this context, Pearson correlation, linear regression, and
mediation analyzes were performed.
Results: There were significant relationships among Cognitive Control
and Flexibility, Intolerance of Uncertainty, Beck Anxiety, fear of
COVID-19, perceived COVID-19 threat (p<0,01). Linear regression
analysis showed that the Beck Anxiety Scale, Intolerance of Uncertainty
and Cognitive Control/ Flexibility Scale scores significantly predicted
fear of COVID-19 and the perceived threat of COVID-19 (p<0,001).
In addition, mediation analysis revealed that intolerance to uncertainty
and cognitive control/flexibility are mediating factors between anxiety
and the perceived threat of COVID-19 (p<0,01).
Conclusion: There is a relationship between fear of COVID-19 and
perception of threat, anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and cognitive
control mechanisms. In accordance with these findings, psychosocial
support and therapy programs can be created based on cognitive
control/flexibility and intolerance of uncertainty in order to increase the
mental health well-being of individuals.
Keywords: Cognitive Control, Flexibility, İntolerance To Uncertainty,
Anxiety, Perceived Threat, COVID-19