The Effects of Perceived Threats and Social Media Exposure about COVID-19 on Mental Health in Malaysia
Keywords:Perceived Threat, Social Media, Mental Health , COVID-19
The objective of this study is to examine the effects of perceived threats and social media exposure of COVID-19 on mental health. For this cross-sectional design survey-based study, a sample of 315 university students in Malaysia, aged between 19 to 35 years (Mean age = 23.31, SD = 2.808), were recruited by cluster sampling. Sociodemographic variables, perception of threat level of COVID-19, social media exposure level of COVID-19 and mental health of individuals was measured through a collection of online self-reported data. Standard multiple regression and hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted. Results showed that individuals with higher levels of social media exposure had lower levels of mental health problems, whereas individuals with a higher level of perception of threat had more mental health problems. Findings of this study has great implementations in research as it shows that the pandemic-related perception of threat generates mental health problems. As such, for the purpose of strengthening mental health services, campaigns and interventions should be introduced by policy makers, the government and mental health practitioners.