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Pre-pandemic psychological and behavioral predictors of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in nine countries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2021

Jennifer E. Lansford*
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
Ann T. Skinner
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
Jennifer Godwin
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
Lei Chang
University of Macau, Macau, China
Kirby Deater-Deckard
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
Laura Di Giunta
Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” Rome, Italy
Kenneth A. Dodge
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
Sevtap Gurdal
University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Qin Liu
Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
Qian Long
Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, China
Paul Oburu
Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya
Concetta Pastorelli
Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” Rome, Italy
Emma Sorbring
University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Laurence Steinberg
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, and King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Sombat Tapanya
Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Liliana Maria Uribe Tirado
Universidad de San Buenaventura, Medellín, Colombia
Saengduean Yotanyamaneewong
Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Liane Peña Alampay
Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
Suha M. Al-Hassan
Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan
Dario Bacchini
University of Naples “Federico II,” Naples, Italy
Marc H. Bornstein
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD, USA, UNICEF, New York, USA, and Institute for Fiscal Studies, London, UK
Corresponding author: Jennifer E. Lansford, email:


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents (N = 1,330; Mages = 15 and 16; 50% female), mothers, and fathers from nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, United States) reported on adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems, adolescents completed a lab-based task to assess tendency for risk-taking, and adolescents reported on their well-being. During the pandemic, participants (Mage = 20) reported on changes in their internalizing, externalizing, and substance use compared to before the pandemic. Across countries, adolescents’ internalizing problems pre-pandemic predicted increased internalizing during the pandemic, and poorer well-being pre-pandemic predicted increased externalizing and substance use during the pandemic. Other relations varied across countries, and some were moderated by confidence in the government’s handling of the pandemic, gender, and parents’ education.

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© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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