O uso da internet em contexto pandémico
: papel mediador na saúde mental e medo do COVID

  • Joana Maria Vale Castanheira Martins (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The internet is an essential tool in modern society, having drastically transformed the waypeople relate, communicate, learn and work. If the use is excessive and uncontrolled, it canbecome problematic and can affect the individuals' psychological well-being, namely anxietyor depression. However, in the context of the current pandemic caused by the coronavirus,marked by increased anxiety and fears, it has taken on an important role in different contextsand, in particular, in the maintenance of interpersonal contacts and in the mental health of youngadults. Thus, this study aimed to explore the mediating role of internet use in the relationship between mental health (anxiety, depression and stress) and fear of COVID-19. It was also intended to analyze the relationship between these same variables and the differences depending on the gender of the participants. For this study, the sample used consisted of 443 Portuguese young adults and the Internet Addiction Test, Depression and Stress Anxiety Scales,Multidimensional Assessment of COVID-19-Related Fears and a sociodemographic questionnaire were used for data collection. The results showed that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between internet use and depression, anxiety and stress, and fear of COVID-19 and depression, anxiety and stress. Furthermore, it was found that women have significantly higher scores in anxiety, depression and stress compared to men. However, with regard to internet use, the differences between the sexes were not significant. Finally, it was found that stress seems to play a mediating role in explaining the relationship between internet use and fear of COVID-19. This research aims to contribute to an increase in knowledge about the role of the internet in responding to this challenge and preparing for other critical situations. Studies like this can be a way to better understand the consequences of COVID-19 on mental health and the mediating role of the internet in this relationship.
Date of Award31 Jan 2022
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo César Dias (Supervisor)


  • Internet
  • Mental health
  • COVID-19
  • Young adults


  • Mestrado em Psicologia Clínica e da Saúde

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