Egidio Robusto

Assessment and profiling of psycho-social distress during and after the epidemic

Required budget: 50.000 euro

Beyond the obvious health problems, the epidemic produced by the spread of the virus SARS-CoV-2 has led to profound changes in the lifestyle and habits of everyone with important repercussions at social and psychological levels. Specific problems can be identified for members of different social groups. Just to mention a few, problems of sociability and study for young people and students; access to credit and management of their own activities for entrepreneurs; mobility and smart working for workers; job search for the unemployed persons; self-care and loneliness for elderly persons. What are the long-term effects of the pandemic and social restrictions on interpersonal relationships of the different social groups? Which groups and age classes are most affected and how? What are the most appropriate psycho-socio-educational interventions for the different social groups?

The research project aims to develop instruments that are useful to answer these questions. It is divided into two main phases. The first phase is aimed at developing and validating a series of computerized questionnaires for the broad spectrum investigation of sociodemographic, psychosocial, and personality variables and of the risk factors that are connected to the spread of the virus in different social groups (students, entrepreneurs, workers, unemployed persons, older persons). The second phase is aimed at analyzing the empirical data collected with the questionnaires in order to identify, for each of the social groups under consideration, the major sources of discomfort, the most problematic behaviors, and the profiles of individuals who are most vulnerable to social, psychological and health risk, and to guide the development of best practices and targeted interventions. The results of the project will be disseminated through technical reports for policymakers and informational reports for the community, scientific articles, and conferences. The estimated funding required to implement the project is 50,000 euros.