Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master in Psychology



First Advisor

Kenneth E. Vail III

Second Advisor

Eric Allard

Third Advisor

Shereen C. Naser


Prior research suggests that COVID-19 perceived threat and existential isolation (EI) would be associated with an individual’s subjective health, levels of anxiety, and feelings of hope relating specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it was unclear whether such concerns might be unique predictors (no interaction, two cumulative main effects) or interact (one effect modifies the other). To learn more about the possible combined effects, I analyzed data gathered via MTurk, during an 11-week period at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-June 2020). Method: This study (N = 2,673) measured perceived COVID19-related threat, EI, anxiety, subjective health, and hope. Results: EI was found to be positively correlated with anxiety and negatively correlated with subjective health and hope. Perceived COVID-19-related threat was negatively correlated with subjective health and positively correlated with anxiety. Greater perceived threat was not found to be negatively correlated with feelings of hope. One outcome interaction was observed such that perceived COVID-19-related threat decreased hope when people felt existentially isolated, but increased hope when people felt a sense of existential connection (e.g., “we’re all in this together”). Conclusion: Discussion highlights theoretical considerations, limitations, and practical implications of addressing mental health.