How did household size & virtual contact impact anxiety levels associated with social distancing during COVID-19 in rural South Africa?

A study by researchers affiliated with the national study Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies in South Africa (HAALSA) based on data from a phone survey reveals that although declines in social interaction were associated with increased anxiety levels among both men and women in rural South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic, women living in larger households seemed to be especially impacted.

“For women, living in larger households may mean greater caregiving burden, exacerbating the detrimental association between physical distancing and anxiety.”

Virtual contact among both men and women did offer a buffer against increased anxiety levels.