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COVID-19 and mental health: framing emotional concerns

Faculty Advisor




emotional concerns, COVID-19, pandemics

Abstract (summary)

This content analysis examined 196 Twitter tweets to identify contexts in which emotional concerns were raised on social media during the pandemic. A purposive sampling procedure was employed to collect all tweets explicitly or implicitly expressing a contextualized emotional concern towards COVID-19. An open-coding procedure was utilized to examine the contexts in which emotional concerns were framed, and the frequency of occurrence of any contextualized emotional concern was recorded. Results revealed 7 main ways within which emotional concerns were framed, including: COVID-19 Virus, School-Related, Groups/Individuals, Social Institutions, Financial/Work-Related, Mass Media, and Other. Emotional concerns were most often tied to aspects of the virus itself such as fear of contracting the disease, linked to other issues involving schooling, or were raised in relation to the mental health of groups and/or individuals. Although previous literature has demonstrated that people exhibit psychological distress during a global health crisis, this study adds to the growing body of literature on COVID-19 and outlines the contexts in which emotional concern arise during a pandemic. These findings provide insight into how individuals are sharing concerns about their mental health with others via Twitter, and points to the need for psychological interventions specifically tailored to global health crises.

Publication Information



Presented on April 26, 2021 for Diane Symbaluk as part of her 3M Award interview held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Item Type

Student Presentation




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