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.