Psychological Distress among Women in the Workforce Post COVID-19 Pandemic

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The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can impact an individual's mental health, and the COVID-19 pandemic conditions increased the rates of depression and anxiety. During the pandemic, individuals faced adverse psychological effects, including worrying about contracting the virus and adjusting to the stay-at-home mandates. Former studies showed that women tend to have higher reported levels of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress. The objectives of this study were to determine if there were statistically significant differences in self-reporting psychological distress, emotions interfering with work performance, social life impairment, and self-reported depression related to gender and psychological distress. A cross-sectional study using secondary data from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) was performed. An independent samples t-test and chi-square test of independence were performed. Independent samples t-tests showed that there was a statistically significant difference in self-reported serious psychological distress between men (m = 3.33) and women (m = 4.24) (t = -5.474, p = .035) and a statistically significant difference in depression between men (m = 4.69) and women (m = 4.61) (t = 2.507, p = .012). A chi-square test of independence found no statistically significant association between gender and emotions interfering with work performance (X2(1) = .568, p = .451), and no association was found between gender and social life impairment amongst those experiencing psychological distress (X2(1) = 2.336, p = .126).
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Mental Health, Women's Studies