Life dissatisfaction during the covid-19 pandemic in Spain

The pandemic and its economic consequences are linked to life dissatisfaction and anxiety

María Rosalía Vicente Cuervo, Universidad de Oviedo
Pablo de Pedraza, European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre
Project selected in the Call to support research projects on the social impact of covid-19

From March 14 to June 21, 2020, Spain was under a state of alarm due to the covid-19 crisis. On October 24, 2020, a second state of alarm was declared. The Living and Working in Coronavirus (LWCV) web survey collected information on the effects of the pandemic from March to December 2020, with a final sample of 4,683 respondents. During the first state of alarm, the average life dissatisfaction, on a scale from 1 to 10, was 3.97 and 27% of respondents declared that they had suffered from anxiety and/or depression. During the second state of alarm, these figures increased to 4.6 and 45%, respectively. Anxiety and depression were mainly related to health problems, while life dissatisfaction was basically linked to economic problems.
Key points
  • 1
       People who lost income or their job due to covid-19 and people who experienced loneliness were the most dissatisfied. Job loss significantly increased life dissatisfaction across all ages, especially for the age group 35-44.
  • 2
       Having oneself suffered from covid-19 or having family members or colleagues infected had no association with life dissatisfaction.
  • 3
       The most significant associations for anxiety and depression weren’t covid-19 diagnoses but rather covid-19 symptoms and poor health generally. Women, people who had experienced loneliness, and those who had lost their job were the most likely to feel anxious and/or depressed.
  • 4
       Among those with a job, both increases and decreases of workload were linked to anxiety.
  • 5
       While living with a partner was associated with less dissatisfaction, it was also associated with higher anxiety.
  • 6
       Daily exercise was linked to a lower propensity to experience life dissatisfaction, anxiety and/or depression.

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María Rosalía Vicente Cuervo , Universidad de Oviedo
Pablo de Pedraza , European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre

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