Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety

Akram, Umair, Irvine, Kamila, Allen, Sarah , Stevenson, Jodie, Ellis, Jason and Drabble, Jennifer (2021) Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety. Scientific Reports, 11 (1). p. 22305. ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00857-8

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Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety
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Abstract

This study examined whether significantly anxious individuals differed from non-anxious individuals in their perceptual ratings of internet memes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst considering the mediating role of emotion regulation. Eighty individuals presenting clinically significant anxiety symptoms (indicating 15 on the GAD-7) and 80 non-anxious controls (indicating 4) rated the emotional valance, humour, relatability, shareability, and offensiveness of 45 Covid-19 internet memes. A measure of emotion regulation difficulties was also completed. The perception of humour, relatability, and shareability were all greater amongst anxious individuals relative to non-anxious controls. These differences were not mediated by emotion regulation deficits. Internet memes related to the current Covid-19 pandemic may tentatively serve as coping mechanism for individuals experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety.

Keywords:anxiety, COVID-19, Emotion regulation, Internet memes
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:46573
Deposited On:11 Oct 2021 15:34

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