ResearchPDF Available
V1.2 - doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30558.59209
How is the COVID19 Pandemic
Affecting Europeans’ Lives?
Report on data collection March 30th - April 20th
Principal investigator: A. Lieberoth (Aarhus University),
Report Editor: G.A. Travaglino (University of Kent),
Data Cleaning & Code: D. Cepulic (Catholic University of Croatia), T. Tran (Colorado State University).
Report: M. Kowal (University of Wrocław), T. Coll-Martín (University of Granada), C. Reyna (Universidad
Nacional de Córdoba-CONICET), S. Vestergren (University of Salford).
Data collection and collaboration: COVID-Stress International Collaboration
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health crisis.
Nearly a third of the global population is undergoing some form of curfew,
isolation, or are being placed under restrictive measures (Kaplan, Frias &
McFall-Johnsen, 2020). Therefore, it is not surprising that the spread of
COVID-19 could soon turn into a serious psychological, social and political
The COVIDiSTRESS global survey was designed by an international group
of social scientists from more than fifty universities to measure the
psychological correlates and implications of the current crisis. The study
has so far involved more than 150,000 individual respondents from over 50
different countries, sharing their experience of the human consequences of
the crisis.
The report below describes a series of selected variables in the survey. It
focuses on the 75,570 respondents from the 27 countries composing the
European Union (EU) who answered the survey between March 30th and
April 20th.
The countries included in the analyses, and the respective sample size,
are: Austria (279), Belgium (557), Bulgaria (4,538), Croatia (2,909),
Cyprus (34), Czech Republic (1,344), Denmark (10,327), Estonia (34),
Finland (20,810), France (12,446), Germany (1,271), Greece (628),
Hungary (1,427), Ireland (209), Italy (1,370), Latvia (22), Lithuania
(8,056), Luxembourg (59), Malta (21), Netherlands (1256), Poland
(3,052), Portugal (827), Romania (189), Slovakia (597), Slovenia (21),
Spain (554), Sweden (2,733).
At the time of writing (April 20th, 2020), data collection is still ongoing. The
sample is an organic convenience sample. Results are not descriptive of
entire countries, but they provide important insights into the ongoing
situation, across different countries in Europe.
Characteristics of the respondents
Respondents were 74.18% female, 24.63% male. The remaining
respondents answered ‘other’ or did not provide an answer.
The majority of respondents
(67.16%) were in full-time,
part-time work or
self-employed, 16.06%
were either unemployed or
retired, 16.79% were
The age of the
ranged from 18 to
110, with a
median age of 38.
Stress in Europe during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked many changes in individuals’ lives.
For instance, individuals have endured increased restrictions on personal
freedom, limitations on their work routine and ability to work, changes in
personal habits, and isolation from friends and loved ones.
general stress
levels were
measured using
an established
ten-item scale
developed by
Cohen, Karmak,
and Mermelstrein
(1983). This
scale measures
participants’ stress during the last week by using indicators of stress
responses, for instance, perceived lack of control over events, pressure
from mounting difficulties and feeling upset about unexpected changes.
Scores are considered moderate above 2.4, and high above 3.7.
Levels of stress were moderate or lower in many countries. Poland and
Portugal reported the highest levels of stress in Europe, and Denmark and
the Netherlands the lowest.
Levels of stress remained fairly stable over the middle of April, with a
negligible decrease between April 4th and April 13th. Overall levels of
stress remained higher in women compared to men throughout the period
under consideration.
Sources of Distress among Europeans during the COVID19 Pandemic
We asked participants to indicate the extent to which a range of different
factors represented a source of distress during the COVID-19 health
indicated their
or agreement
with how much
each factor
from a list
represented a
source of
distress (1 =
Disagree, 6 =
Results indicated that people were on average concerned with the state of
the national economy. Economic considerations were followed closely by
health-related risks, such as the risks of being hospitalised and of
contracting the new disease.
Trust in Institutions
Participants were asked how much they trusted six key institutions, in
relation to the COVID-19
emergency (on a scale from
1 = not at all to 10 =
completely). Specifically,
participants were asked
about their trust towards the
health care systems, the
World Health Organization
(WHO), the national
governments’ efforts to
tackle the COVID19, the
Police, the civil service and the national government.
Overall, Europeans reported only medium levels of trust, with the highest
levels of trust for their countries’ healthcare system and the WHO. Trust
towards the national government was relatively lower, compared to the
other institutions examined.
There were marked differences across countries in how much the national
government was
trusted. Finland and
Denmark were the
countries with the
highest truest towards
their governments.
Conversely, people in
Bulgaria and Poland
expressed much lower
trust in their
governments. The
dashed line in the
graph indicates the mid-point of the trust scale, showing which countries
trusted their governments more than 5 on a scale 1 to 10.
Similar patterns were found with regard to a measure of citizens’ trust
towards their national governments’ handling of the COVID-19, with
pronounced differences
among countries in
Citizens in Denmark
and Finland reported
the highest trust
towards their
governments’ efforts to
tackle the new
COVID-19 pandemic.
Conversely, citizens in Poland and Hungary reported the lowest trust
towards their governments’ efforts.
Across Europe, trust towards the national governments’ handling of the
pandemic tended to increase over the period considered in this report. The
graph below shows that trust in the governments’ handling has increased
from an average of 6.14 during the first week, to an average of 7.58.
In addition, we also asked participants to judge the appropriateness of the
countries’ measures in
response to the
COVID-19 on a scale
from 0 (too little), to 5
(appropriate, the black
dashed line in the
graph), to 10 (too
much). Slovenia and
Slovakia were those
countries where
citizens considered
the measures stronger than necessary. Among the countries judging their
governments’ response as less than appropriate, there were Hungary and
Among the different measures of trust towards government reviewed
above, the only one that was directly related to levels of compliance with
social distancing directives was trust towards the governments’ efforts to
handle the pandemic. In countries with higher trust towards governments’
efforts, citizens were also more likely to report higher levels of compliance
with directives aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.
Notably, France reported higher levels of compliance than the model would
predict based on the acceptance of government efforts. An outlier in the
other direction, Latvia reported lower levels of compliance than those the
model predicted, given levels of trust.
The World Health Organization is trusted
Also of particular importance is trust towards the WHO, an international
responses to the
Trust towards
the WHO was
especially high in
countries in
Northern Europe, such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the
Countries in Eastern Europe and Greece reported lower trust in the WHO.
Croatia’s, Slovakia’s and Bulgaria’s scores were the lowest.
Across European countries, the
level of trust towards the WHO
remained fairly constant throughout
the period under examination. Trust
towards the WHO oscillated
between an average of 6.78, on
March 30th, to 6.94, on April 20th.
Open science and open access
The COVIDiSTRESS global survey is an open science collaboration,
created by researchers in over 40 countries to rapidly and organically
collect data on human experiences of the Coronavirus epidemic 2020.
This executive summary focuses on stress levels, sources of stress and
trust in institutions across the EU. Data collection is ongoing (see collection
protocol at, and further analyses will be released as we receive
new data.
As an open science project, anyone with an interest can access the raw
data, cleaned versions of the dataset ready for analysis, and lists of all the
variables in the survey, which also include factors such as loneliness,
media use, personality, social provisions and perceived sources of
psychological relief.
To cite the report:
Travaglino, G.A., Lieberoth, A., Tran T., Cepulic D., Kowa, M., Coll-Martín, T.,
Reyna, C., Vestergren, S. & The COVID-Stress International Collaboration
(2020), How is COVID19 affecting Europeans’ Lives?. Report of the
COVIDiSTRESS global survey, doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30558.59209
To cite the COVIDiSTRESS dataset:
COVIDiSTRESS global survey network (2020) COVIDiSTRESS global
. DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/Z39US, Retrieved from
Updated as well as historical data can be accessed at /
COVIDiSTRESS global survey network
Andreas Lieberoth Aarhus University. Department of Culture and Society, Denmark
Amanda Griffin, University of Oregon, USA
Dmitrii Dubrov, National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Russia
Thao Tran, Colorado State University, USA
Hafize Sahin, UK
Rebekah Gelpí, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Canada
Arian Musliu, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München
Dominik-Borna Ćepulić, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia
J. Noël, West University of Sheffield, UK
Yao-Yuan Yeh, University of St. Thomas, Houston
Ivan Flis, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia
Liz Martinez, University of California, Merced, USA
Yuki Yamada, Kyushu, University, Japan
Keiko Ihaya, Kyushu University, Japan
Aya Shata, University of Miami Egypt, USA
Hyemin Han, University of Alabama, USA
Yookyung Lee, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Grace Byrne, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oli Ahmed, University of Chittagong ,Bangladesh
Moh Abdul Hakim, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia
Austin Horng-En Wang, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Shiang-Yi Lin, Education University of Hong Kong
John Jamir Benzon R. Aruta, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines
Phillip S. Kavanagh, University of Canberra, Australia
Charles K.S. Wu, Purdue University
Fang-Yu Chen, Michigan State University
Vicenta Reynoso-Alcántara Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Veracruzana; Sistema Universidad
Abierta y Educación a Distancia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Mexico
Oulmann Zerhouni, Université Paris Nanterre, France
Jiri Cenek, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic
Martin Pírko, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic
Eda Ermagan-Caglar, University of Northampton, UK
David Lacko, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech
Paul Strohmeier, Saarland University, Saarland Informatics Campus, Germany
Pilleriin Sikka, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland; Turku Brain and Mind
Center; Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of Skövde, Sweden
Jarno Tuominen, Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland; Turku Brain and Mind
Center Finland
Marta Kowal, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
Arooj Najmussaqib, Department of Professional Psychology,Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Alma Jeftic, University of Belgrade, Serbia and International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
Marjolein Caniëls, Open University, The Netherlands
Irene Cristofori, University Claude Bernard, Lyon 1/ CNRS France
Benjamin Tag, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Irina Nikolova, Open University, The Netherlands
Salomé Mamede, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of University of Porto, Portugal
Sibele Aquino, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
Tao Coll-Martín, University of Granada, Spain
Sara Morales-Izquierdo, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Giovanni Antonio Travaglino, University of Kent and Chinese University of Hong Kong at Shenzhen
Lotte Pummerer, Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Tübingen, Germany
Anna Studzinska, University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, Poland
Raisa Kumaga, University of East London School of Psychology, United Kingdom
Daniel Pankowski, University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, Poland
Ena Uzelac, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Cristina Sechi, Department of Pedagogy, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Italy.
Stéphane Debove, Independent researcher, France
Fidan Turk, University of Sheffield, UK
João Carlos Areias, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of University of Porto, Portugal
Samuel Lins, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of University of Porto, Portugal
Mehmet Kosa, Tilburg University, NetherlandsFernanda Pérez-Gay, Juárez McGill University,
Kristina Eichel Brown, University, Germany
Nidhi Sinha, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, India
Wilson Cyrus-Lai, INSEAD, Singapore
Cecilia Reyna, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones
Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) Argentina
Angelique M. Blackburn, Texas A&M International University, United States Mila Bujić, Tampere
University Finland
Krzysztof Hanusz, Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Tiago Azevedo, Marot Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Roosevelt Vilar, Faculdades Integradas de Patos, Brazil
Nikolay R. Rachev, Sofia University, St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
Teodora Yaneva, Sofia University, St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
Jean Carlos Natividade, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Carlos Díaz Aarhus, University Denmark
Daphna Hausman, Ozery California State University, Northridge, United States
Eugenia Romano, King's College, London, Italy
Caressa Lynn, Siglos Psychology Department, Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion, Philippines
Rizwana Amin, Department of Professional Psychology, Bahria University Islamabad, Pakistan
Shruti Jha Lott, Carey Baptist Mission in India, India
Agnieszka E. Lys, University of Warsaw, Poland
Brendan Ch'ng, University of Malaya, Malaysia
Lezani Myburgh Sefako, Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Barbora Hubená, Independent researcher, Czech Republic
Josef Kundrát, Psychology Department, Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
Andrew R. Bender, Michigan State University, United States
Dar Meshi, Michigan State University, United States
Arun Tipandjan, International Center for Psychological Counseling and Social Research, India
Claudio Rafael Castro López, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
Rubén Flores González,Universidad Veracruzana México
Vilius Dranseika, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Neha Bhutani, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Gözde İkizer, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Turkey
Eliane Deschrijver, Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium; School of
Psychology, UNSW Sydney, Australia Franco Tisocco, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dayana Hristova, University of Vienna, Austria
Samkelisiwe Mahlungulu, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South AfricaCarlos C.
Contreras, Ibáñez Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - Iztapalapa, México
Zea Szebeni, University of Helsinki Finland / Hungary İlknur Dilekler TOBB University of Economics
and Technology, Turkey
Valdas Noreika, University of Cambridge, UK
Emilija Sungailaite, UK
Alessia Scarpaci, Italy
Jesper Rasmussen, Aarhus University, Department of Political Science Denmark
Andrea Kočiš, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Aybegum Memisoglu, Sanli Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Oğuz 'Oz' Buruk, Tampere University, Turkey
Elmira Hamidi, George Mason University, USA
Sanaz Fesharaki, VA Tech
Shabnam Kavousi, VA Tech
Hannah Tavalire, University of Oregon, USA
Karolina Koszałkowska, University of Lodz, Poland, Institute of Psychology, Poland
Stavroula Chron,a King's College, London, Department of European and International Studies
UKGuillermo Delgado-García, UNAM, Mexico
Huseyin Cakal, Keele University, UK
Sara Vestergren, University of Salford, UK
Pratik Bhandari, Department of Psychology & Department of Language Science and Technology,
Saarland University, Germany
Tuba Bircan, Interface Demography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Belgium Department of
Psychology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Md. Nurul Islam ,Department of Psychology, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
Priyanka Naidu, Griffith University, Australia
Antonio G. Lentoor, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
Kalina Kalinova, Sofia University, St. Kliment Ohridski ,Bulgaria
Sabrina Stöckli, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Jana Nezkusilová, Department of psychology, Faculty of Arts, Pavol Jozef Safarik University, SR
Guillaume Gautreau, Independent researcher, (Paris), France
Silvia Mari, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
... Despite financial challenges caused by furloughs and layoffs, limited capacity in welfare systems, and stress caused by reduced social contacts and anxiety over the pandemic, in the Eurobarometer survey, 50% of respondents in Finland reported the experience was 'fairly easy to cope with', with 23% reporting the experience was 'very easy to cope with, and even an improvement in [your] daily life' (European Union, 2020). Finland ranked third lowest in Europe in stress levels during the spring of 2020 (Travaglino et al., 2020), with high levels of trust in both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Finnish government. ...
... Gaming can support coping the managing of stressful life situations (see Folkman and Moskovitz 2004), yet can also increase stress in highly stressed individuals if game play takes on problematic aspects (Snodgrass et al., 2014(Snodgrass et al., , 2018. The pandemic itself and the containment measures caused considerable disruptions in the everyday, resulting in psychological stress (Kowal et al., 2020;Travaglino et al., 2020) visible in the data. In the spring of 2020, the pandemic still had several unknown quantities and the media was rife with speculation, as well as news of mounting death tolls and related imagery. ...
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This qualitative study examines how the spring 2020 COVID-19 restriction measures impacted adults' gaming in Finland. The study draws on a thematic analysis of qualitative data (N = 201) collected in April 2020, which is explored through the lens of Apperley's (2010) theory of gaming rhythms. The results illuminate the ways in which gaming was situated in everyday life both during and before the COVID-19 restrictions, and how the pandemic and its associated restrictions disrupted, reinforced, and reconfigured the everyday rhythms of gaming. The situation impacted individuals and families differently, being beneficial to some and detrimental to others, contingent on other aspects of respondents' lives. The results underline how an individual's gaming does not happen in isolation, but takes place in the confines of everyday life, shaped by factors outside the individual's control. Developing Apperley's theory, the results show that gaming can be a very resilient activity, given the right circumstances.
... Dealing with children during the quarantine and children's education (green dots), do not appear to be a strong source of concern amongst the Mexican population. The major stressor, the national economy, coincides with the findings in the European analysis (Travaglino, 2020). ...
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The objective of this first report is to disseminate the descriptive results of the sample that responded to the global COVIDistress survey ( in Mexico between March 30 and April 30, 2020, to offer a first overview of the level of stress perceived in this population and assess some of the findings presented. The following descriptive results are included: demographic data of the sample, isolation situation, perceived stress level, perceived stress by sex, age and isolation condition, comparative stress with other countries, main sources of stress, concern about the consequences of COVID -19, coping strategies, trust in the government and compliance with social distancing measures.
... Lidiar con niños durante la cuarentena y la educación de los hijos (puntos verdes), no parecen ser una fuente importante de preocupación entre los mexicanos. El mayor estresor, la economía nacional, coincide con lo encontrado en el reporte de Fuentes de estrés en Europa (Travaglino, 2020). ...
Technical Report
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El objetivo de este primer reporte es difundir los resultados descriptivos de la muestra que respondió a la encuestra global COVIDistress ( en México entre el 30 de marzo y el 30 de abril del 2020, para ofrecer una primera panorámica del nivel de estrés percibido en esta población y valorar algunos de los hallazgos presentados. Se incluyen los siguientes resultados descriptivos: datos demográficos de la muestra, situación de aislamiento, nivel de estrés percibido, estrés percibido por sexo, edad y condición de aislamiento, estrés comparativo con otros países, fuentes principales de estrés, preocupación por las consecuencias del COVID-19, estrategias de afrontamiento, confianza en el gobierno y cumplimiento de medidas de distanciamiento social.
Full-text available
Mentalnozdravstveni indikatori upućuju na razmjerno dobru prilagodbu i psihološku otpornost većine građana, ali i na postojanje ranjivih skupina. Mlađi građani, žene, niže obrazovani i oni nižega ekonomskog standarda više su pogođeni krizom, te im treba osigurati podršku i pomoć za brži i uspješniji oporavak. Pad povjerenja u ključne (političke) institucije i rastuće nezadovoljstvo građana tijekom pandemije glavni su izazovi za oporavak u postpandemijskom razdoblju.
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