Covid-19 Digital Research


Anxiety Regarding Contracting COVID-19 Related to Interoceptive Anxiety Sensations: The Moderating Role of Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity




The COVID-19 public health crisis has led to extensive recommendations by officials to contain its spread. Anxiety regarding contracting the virus is prominent in the public. Specific routes to anxiety over disease contraction are under studied. It is expected that a contributory feature of fear of contracting COVID-19 involve disgust propensity and sensitivity, emotional reactions that are part of a broader behavioral immune system (BIS). A total of N = 908 Chinese adults (mean age = 40.37 years, SD = 9.27; n = 752 female) participated in a survey distributed between February 24 and March 15, 2020. Participants completed measures of anxiety sensitivity, disgust propensity and sensitivity, and fear of contracting COVID-19. Results support a moderating relationship between both disgust propensity and sensitivity in the relationship between physical concerns associated with anxiety sensitivity and fear of contracting COVID-19. These results lend support for individual variation in the activation of the BIS. Recommendations for public education to target individuals who may experience mental health consequences from pandemics are provided.