The Influence of Cultural and Psychological Factors on Mental Health Status during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia

Azizah Alqahtani1, *

1 Department of Psychology, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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© 2022 Azizah Alqahtani

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychology, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; E-mail:



The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 due to the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases outside China. Every pandemic is associated with other problems such as psychological and mental health problems.


The current research investigated the relationship between mental health status and demographic variables and the psychological impact of COVID-19. Furthermore, this study explored the relationship between collectivism and low infection rates. The sample included 1700 adults aged 18 years and older. The questionnaire started with demographic questions followed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), a scale that was applied to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21).


Findings indicated that depression, anxiety, and stress were associated with the psychological impact of COVID-19. In addition, students experienced a higher level of psychological impact of COVID-19 than other occupational groups. Finally, cultural collectivism was associated with a lower COVID-19 infection rate.


It is recommended based on the findings of this paper that the mental health of university students should be observed and assessed during epidemics. Training regarding mental health should be provided to university faculty and staff.

Keywords: COVID-19, Collectivism, Mental health, Psychological Impact, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21).