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University of Phoenix survey examines US adults’ mental health and perception of the pandemic

How is social distancing affecting our mental health?

By University of Phoenix

Despite unease and anxiety, respondents also expressed feelings of gratitude, hope, and resilience.

Top-level data:

Respondents’ top concerns as a result of Coronavirus

  • My loved ones’ health – 71%
  • My own health – 61%
  • Experiencing increased anxiety – 41%
  • Not being able to pay my bills – 33%
  • Missing out on celebrating milestones – 30%

What are respondents doing to improve mental health?

  • Checked in with a loved one – 60%
  • Increased my exercise – 35%
  • Limited my news consumption – 30%
  • Planned for the future (for after the pandemic is over) – 30%
  • Performed acts of kindness for others – 29%

Despite unease and anxiety, respondents also expressed feelings of gratitude, hope, and resilience

Four in 10 Americans are lonelier now than ever before — as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.

Commissioned by University of Phoenix, the survey found Americans have a wide variety of concerns at the current moment, with health — mental and physical — first on the list.

The survey of 1,055 U.S. adults asked respondents to think about how the outbreak is affecting them and revealed it’s caused loneliness to hit new heights for 44 percent of those surveyed. And these feelings of loneliness were found to be part of a wider effect: If social distancing and quarantining continues, a fifth of respondents (19 percent) said it will have major implications for their mental health.

Results revealed respondents’ top concern to be their loved one’s health (71 percent), followed by their own (61 percent). Other respondents were worried about experiencing increased anxiety (41 percent) and not being able to pay bills (33 percent) as a result of the pandemic.

Three in 10 were concerned about missing out on celebrating milestones, while 27 percent were worried about feeling prolonged loneliness or depression.

With so much unpredictability, 68 percent said they feel like everything is out of their control — and 53 percent of respondents wish they had tips on how to better take care of their mental health during this time.

But the survey, conducted by the Harris Poll, found some respondents are taking steps in the right direction. To maintain — or improve — their mental health, six in 10 have checked in with a loved one, while 35 percent are exercising more.

Three in 10 recognize the importance of self-care while staying informed and are therefore limiting their news consumption.

Other steps respondents are taking for their mental health include planning for a post-pandemic future (30 percent) and performing acts of kindness for others (29 percent).

But not only is mental health important right now, so is physical health. In more good news, 59 percent of respondents report “always” following the social distancing guidelines, while 31 percent are following them most of the time.

Almost half (47 percent) of those surveyed believe social distancing guidelines will continue to be in place between 2–3 month while 27 percent believe it’ll be 4 months or longer.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix from March 30-31, 2020 among 1,055 US adults aged 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact