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Publication Detail
Creative leisure activities, mental health and well-being during 5 months of the COVID-19 pandemic: a fixed effects analysis of data from 3725 US adults
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Bone JK, Fancourt D, Sonke JK, Fluharty ME, Cohen R, Lee JB, Kolenic AJ, Radunovich H, Bu F
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Notes:
    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Introduction: We investigated whether changes in engagement in home-based creative activities were associated with changes in depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms and life satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to replicate findings from the UK in a USA sample. Methods: 3725 adults were included from the COVID-19 Social Study in the USA, a panel study collecting data weekly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We measured engagement in eight types of creative leisure activities on the previous weekday between April and September 2020. Data were analysed using fixed effects regression models. Results: Increased time spent gardening was associated with reductions in depressive and anxiety symptoms and enhanced life satisfaction. Spending more time doing woodwork/DIY and arts/crafts were also associated with enhanced life satisfaction. However, more time watching television, films or other similar media (not for information on COVID-19) was associated with increased depressive symptoms. Other creative activities were not associated with mental health or well-being. Conclusion: Some findings differ from evidence obtained in the UK, demonstrating the importance of replicating research across countries. Our findings should also be considered when formulating guidelines for future stay-at-home directives, enabling individuals to stay well despite the closure of public resources.
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