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Publication Detail
Who engaged in home-based arts activities during the COVID-19 pandemic? A cross-sectional analysis of data from 4,731 adults in the United States
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Bone J, Mak HW, Sonke JK, Fluharty ME, Lee J, Kolenic AJ, Radunovich H, Cohen R, Fancourt D
  • Publication date:
  • Addresses:
    Jessica Bone
    University College London
    Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health
    1-19 Torrington Place
    United Kingdom
Arts engagement is a health-related behavior that may be influenced by social inequalities. While the COVID-19 pandemic provided new opportunities for some people to engage in the arts, it might have created barriers for others. We aimed to examine whether there was social patterning in home-based arts engagement during the pandemic in the United States (US), and whether predictors of engagement differed according to the type of arts activity. We included 4,731 adults who participated in the US COVID-19 Social Study between April and July 2020. Three types of home-based arts engagement were considered: reading for pleasure, arts or crafts activities, and digital arts activities. Using logistic regression models, we tested cross-sectional associations between a broad range of demographic, socioeconomic, psychosocial, and health-related factors as well as adverse events and worries during lockdown and each type of arts engagement. The factors most strongly associated with all three types of arts engagement were social support, social network size, age, race/ethnicity, keyworker status, and experiencing physical or psychological abuse during the pandemic. However, most socioeconomic and health-related factors were not associated with arts engagement, including household income and mental and physical health problems. Overall, our findings indicate that the social gradient in arts engagement was reduced in the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Given the health benefits of arts engagement, the potential diversification of arts audiences during the pandemic is promising for both population-level health and wellbeing and the future of the arts and cultural sector.
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