IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 17 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.079
Open Access Original Research
Men’s psychological well-being during COVID-19: the moderator role of posttraumatic growth
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1 Research Center in Psychology (CIPsi), School of Psychology, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2 School of Human and Social Sciences, University of Tràs-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
J. Mens. Health 2021, 17(4), 62–71;
Submitted: 3 April 2021 | Accepted: 13 May 2021 | Published: 30 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 impact on men's mental health)
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Background and objective: Men are significantly affected by COVID-19 stressors that impact psychological well-being. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between distress, risk perception, emotional representations, preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors, COVID-19 traumatic stress, posttraumatic growth, and psychological well-being, taking also into consideration sociodemographic variables as well as the moderator role of posttraumatic growth in the relationship between traumatic stress and psychological well-being.

Material and methods: A cross-sectional design was used. Data were collected during the lockdown, in Portugal, from January to March 2021. The sample included 220 men who answered the questionnaires online.

Results: Anxiety and depression symptoms (distress), traumatic stress, and emotional representations were negatively associated with psychological well-being. Older men, professionally active men, and men not in teleworking reported greater psychological well-being. The findings also showed that less emotional representations, less traumatic stress, and lower levels of distress contributed to greater psychological well-being. Finally, posttraumatic growth played a moderating role in the relationship between traumatic stress and psychological well-being.

Conclusion: Interventions and further studies must consider the buffering role of posttraumatic growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on helping men handle the associated traumatic stress in order to promote psychological well-being.

Psychological well-being
Posttraumatic growth
Traumatic stress
Emotional representations
Risk perception
Preventive infection behaviors
Fig. 1.
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