Debate: Facing uncertainty with(out) a sense of control – cultural influence on adolescents’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Nan Zhu, O. Jiaqing, Hui Jing Lu, Lei Chang

Research output: Journal article publicationComment/debate/erratumAcademic research

5 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about healthcare, economic, and psychological crises around the world. The psychological impact on adolescents is likely going to be uneven across different societies, as cultures vary in terms of their dominant learning style that may influence how people cope with uncertainty and perceive their sense of control. We postulate that for adolescents in individualistic cultures where individual learning prevails, their sense of control might be undermined by societal disease-control regulations that restrict personal freedoms, while adolescents’ sense of control might increase via participating in societal preventive efforts in collectivistic cultures where social learning is more prevalent. Individual differences regarding one’s sense of control would, in turn, have implications for adolescents’ short-term adjustments to COVID-19-related challenges and their future development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-174
Number of pages2
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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