Social isolation and psychological wellbeing: lessons from Covid-19

Hussein-Elhakim Al Issa, Eman Mahir Jaleel
2021 Management Science Letters  
This study explores the effect of social isolation (SI) on the psychological wellbeing (PWB) of employees due to the imposed distance education during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Drawing on individual psychological resources to improve wellbeing, researchers examine emotional intelligence (EI) as a possible mediator that reduces the effect of social isolation. In this quantitative study, questionnaires were administered to measure SI, EI, and PWB among academic and non-academic staff in
more » ... i public universities during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak. The results suggest that EI and SI were strong predictors of PWB. While SI was negatively and significantly related to EI, the presence of emotional intelligence as a mediator reduced the negative effect of isolation on wellbeing. Gender was not found to moderate the mediating effect of EI on the SI-PWB association. These findings support the validity of incorporating EI interventions during pandemic outbreaks that produce distinct effects on the isolation and thus potentially result in improving the wellbeing of employees. Although employees high on EI are viewed less socially isolated and high on wellbeing within literature there is a relative dearth of supporting research that has not examined these inter-relationships during a genuinely imposed lockdown such as the one during the Covid-19 pandemic which provided standardization as to the social isolation context understudied. Another theoretical gap included the psychometric revision of the social isolation scale.
doi:10.5267/j.msl.2020.9.006 fatcat:yt4ot665uzg4dj7a4ymly2uj3i