Internet Memes Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Potential Coping Mechanism for Anxiety

AKRAM, Umair, IRVINE, Kamila, ALLEN, Sarah, STEVENSON, Jodie, ELLIS, Jason and DRABBLE, Jennifer (2021). Internet Memes Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Potential Coping Mechanism for Anxiety. Scientific Reports.

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Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-00857-8
Open Access URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-00857-8... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00857-8
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    Abstract

    This study examined whether significantly anxious individuals differed from non-anxious individuals in their perceptual ratings of internet memes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst considering the mediating role of emotion regulation. Eighty individuals presenting clinically significant anxiety symptoms (indicating 15 on the GAD-7) and 80 non-anxious controls (indicating 4) rated the emotional valance, humour, relatability, shareability, and offensiveness of 45 Covid-19 internet memes. A measure of emotion regulation difficulties was also completed. The perception of humour, relatability, and shareability were all greater amongst anxious individuals relative to non-anxious controls. These differences were not mediated by emotion regulation deficits. Internet memes related to the current Covid-19 pandemic may tentatively serve as coping mechanism for individuals experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety.

    Item Type: Article
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00857-8
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 10:37
    Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 11:15
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29082

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