Article Data

  • Views 268
  • Dowloads 122

Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

COVID-19 exposure and mental wellbeing of European male employees

  • Faisal Mahmood1
  • Antonio Ariza-Montes2,*,
  • Maria Saleem3
  • Heesup Han4,*,

1The University of Faisalabad, 38000 Punjab, Pakistan

2Universidad Loyola Andalucía, 14004 Córdoba, Spain

3The University of Lahore, 54590 Lahore, Pakistan

4College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Sejong University, 05006 Seoul, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1807145 Vol.18,Issue 7,July 2022 pp.1-11

Submitted: 29 September 2021 Accepted: 17 November 2022

Published: 31 July 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 impact on men's mental health)

*Corresponding Author(s): Antonio Ariza-Montes E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Heesup Han E-mail:


Background: The present research intends to identify the determinants of men’s mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fear and uncertainty caused by this pandemic and its prolongation have caused a considerable rise in mental health disorders. In a very short time, much research has been conducted examining the main consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals’ mental health. Some studies pointed out that COVID-19 stressors significantly affect individuals, and some statistics suggest that the pandemic affects men and women differently. However, the literature on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on men’s mental health remains limited. This research attempted to fill these gaps in the literature by examining an essential research question about the determinants of men’s mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This research uses a dataset collected on Eurofound’s Living, Working, and COVID-19 survey, and the full sample consisted of 24,123 European citizens. The sample was split into two main groups: men (N = 3577) and women (N = 8744). This research uses linear regression methodology to investigate the mental wellbeing of male employees. The input method was applied to estimate two regression models, one for men and one for women. Results: Our results revealed that men’s exposure to COVID-19 infection deteriorates their mental wellbeing. Similarly, some organizational factors also determined men’s mental wellbeing, such as working under fixed employment contracts, feelings of doing useful work, and satisfaction with the quality of work. Finally, individual and attitudinal factors contributed to determining the mental wellbeing of male employees, optimism about the future, general health, positive feelings about themselves, and overall life satisfaction. Conclusion: This research deduces that men’s mental wellbeing is determined by factors that are different from those of women employees. In conclusion, this research deduces that men’s good mental wellbeing is determined differently from women employees. Specifically, we identified that exposure to COVID-19, employment contracts at the job, feelings of doing useful work, satisfaction with the quality of work, resilience, age, life satisfaction, general health, optimism about the future, and feeling positive about themselves are the key determinants of men’s health.


men’s mental wellbeing; COVID-19 pandemic; eurofound’s living; organizational factors; individual and attitudinal factors

Cite and Share

Faisal Mahmood,Antonio Ariza-Montes,Maria Saleem,Heesup Han. COVID-19 exposure and mental wellbeing of European male employees. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(7);1-11.


[1] Affleck W, Carmichael V, Whitley R. Men’s Mental Health: So-cial Determinants and Implications for Services. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2018; 63: 581–589.

[2] Brownhill S, Wilhelm K, Barclay L, Schmied V. ‘Big build’: hidden depression in men. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2005; 39: 921–931.

[3] Martin LA, Neighbors HW, Griffith DM. The Experience of Symptoms of Depression in Men vs Women. JAMA Psychiatry. 2013; 70: 1100.

[4] Thibaut F, van Wijngaarden-Cremers PJM. Women’s mental health in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Global Women’s Health. 2020; 1: 588372.

[5] Clark A, Jit M, Warren-Gash C, Guthrie B, Wang HHX, Mercer SW, et al. Global, regional, and national estimates of the popu-lation at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions in 2020: a modelling study. The Lancet Global Health. 2020; 8: e1003–e1017.

[6] Gebhard C, Regitz-Zagrosek V, Neuhauser HK, Morgan R, Klein SL. Impact of sex and gender on COVID-19 outcomes in Europe. Biology of Sex Differences. 2020; 11: 29.

[7] Betron M, Gottert A, Pulerwitz J, Shattuck D, Stevanovic-Fenn N. Men and COVID-19: Adding a gender lens. Global Public Health. 2020; 15: 1090–1092.

[8] Global Health 5050. The COVID-19 sex-disaggregated data tracker. 2021. Available at: exgender- and-COVID-19-project/ (Accessed: 10 February 2021).

[9] Santos M, Machado AM, Bernardo AC, Leite Â, Pereira MG. Men’s psychological well-being during COVID-19: the mod-erator role of posttraumatic growth. Journal of Men’s Health. 2021; 17: 62–71.

[10] Dong L, Bouey J. Public Mental Health Crisis during COVID-19 Pandemic, China. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020; 26: 1616–1618.

[11] Schwartz J, King C, Yen M. Protecting Healthcare Workers during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak: Lessons from Taiwan’s Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Re-sponse. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020; 71: 858–860.

[12] World Health Organization. World Health Organization consti-tution. World Health Organization: Geneva. 1948.

[13] Ryff CD, Singer B. The Contours of Positive Human Health. Psychological Inquiry. 1998; 9: 1–28.

[14] Keyes CLM. Flourishing. In Weiner IB, Craighead WE (eds.) The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 4th edn. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, New Jersey. 2010.

[15] Ryan RM, Deci EL. On happiness and human potentials: a re-view of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology. 2001; 52: 141–166.

[16] Keyes CLM, Annas J. Feeling good and functioning well: dis-tinctive concepts in ancient philosophy and contemporary sci-ence. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2009; 4: 197–201.

[17] Yu J, Park J, Hyun SS. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees’ work stress, well-being, mental health, organi-zational citizenship behavior, and employee-customer identifi-cation. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management. 2021; 30: 529–548.

[18] Krok D, Zarzycka B, Telka E. Risk of Contracting COVID-19, Personal Resources and Subjective Well-Being among Health care Workers: The Mediating Role of Stress and Meaning-Making. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10: 132.

[19] Hoay Khoo VP, Morsillo J, Zhang L. Achieving Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing on the COVID-19 Frontline. The Innova-tion. 2020; 1: 100024.

[20] Zhang W, Wang K, Yin L, Zhao W, Xue Q, Peng M, et al. Mental Health and Psychosocial Problems of Medical Health Workers during the COVID-19 Epidemic in China. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 2020; 89: 242–250.

[21] Faderani R, Monks M, Peprah D, Colori A, Allen L, Amphlett A, et al. Improving wellbeing among UK doctors redeployed dur-ing the COVID-19 pandemic. Future Healthcare Journal. 2020; 7: e71–e76.

[22] Markovic I, Nikolovski S, Milojevic S, Zivkovic D, Knezevic S, Mitrovic A, et al. Public trust and media influence on anxiety and depression levels among skilled workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in Serbia. Vojnosanitetski Pregled. 2020; 77: 1201–1209.

[23] Jacques-Aviñó C, López-Jiménez T, Medina-Perucha L, de Bont J, Gonçalves AQ, Duarte-Salles T, et al. Gender-based approach on the social impact and mental health in Spain during COVID-19 lockdown: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2020; 10: e044617.

[24] Rogers RW. A Protection Motivation Theory of Fear Appeals and Attitude Change1. The Journal of Psychology. 1975; 91: 93–114.

[25] Shillair R. Protection Motivation Theory. In Bulck J (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, New Jersey. 2020.

[26] White A. Men and COVID-19: the aftermath. Postgraduate Medicine. 2020; 132: 18–27.

[27] Mahmood F, Ariza-Montes A, Saleem M, Han H. Teachers’ tele-working job satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic in Eu-rope. Current Psychology. 2021. (in press)

[28] Parslow * RA, Jorm AF, Christensen H, Rodgers B, Strazdins L, D’Souza RM. The associations between work stress and men-tal health: a comparison of organizationally employed and self-employed workers. Work & Stress. 2004; 18: 231–244.

[29] Di Domenico SI, Fournier MA. Socioeconomic Status, Income Inequality, and Health Complaints: a Basic Psychological Needs Perspective. Social Indicators Research. 2014; 119: 1679–1697.

[30] Richter A, Näswall K. Job insecurity and trust: Uncovering a mechanism linking job insecurity to well-being. Work & Stress. 2019; 33: 22–40.

[31] Holland P, Tham TL, Sheehan C, Cooper B. The impact of perceived workload on nurse satisfaction with work-life bal-ance and intention to leave the occupation. Applied Nursing Re-search. 2019; 49: 70–76.

[32] McManus S. General health and mental well-being. The Scottish Health Survey. 2011; 1: 11–47.

[33] Pace F, Sciotto G. The effect of emotional dissonance and mental load on need for recovery and work engagement among Italian fixed-term researchers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18: 99.

[34] Huang Q, Xing Y, Gamble J. Job demands–resources: a gen-der perspective on employee well-being and resilience in retail stores in China. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 2019; 30: 1323–1341.

[35] Conversano C, Rotondo A, Lensi E, Della Vista O, Arpone F, Reda MA. Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health. 2010; 6: 25–29.

[36] Miranda JO, Cruz RNC. Resilience mediates the relationship be-tween optimism and well-being among Filipino university stu-dents. Current Psychology. 2020. (in press)

[37] De Moortel D, Thévenon O, De Witte H, Vanroelen C. Working Hours Mismatch, Macroeconomic Changes, and Mental well-being in Europe. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 2017; 58: 217–231.

[38] Kiely KM, Brady B, Byles J. Gender, mental health and ageing. Maturitas. 2019; 129: 76–84.

[39] Jacques-Aviñó C, García de Olalla P, González Antelo A, Fer-nández Quevedo M, Romaní O, Caylà JA. The theory of mas-culinity in studies on HIV. a systematic review. Global Public Health. 2019; 14: 601–620.

[40] Mazza C, Ricci E, Biondi S, Colasanti M, Ferracuti S, Napoli C, et al. A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Ital-ian people during the COVID-19 pandemic: immediate psycho-logical responses and associated factors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17: 3165.

[41] Pierce M, Hope H, Ford T, Hatch S, Hotopf M, John A, et al. Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2020; 7: 883–892.

[42] Eurofound. Living, working and COVID-19. COVID-19 series, Publications Office of the European Union: Luxembourg. 2020.

[43] Lara-Cabrera ML, Mundal IP, De Las Cuevas C. Patient-reported well-being: psychometric properties of the world health organization well-being index in specialised community mental health settings. Psychiatry Research. 2020; 291: 113268.

[44] Sischka PE, Costa AP, Steffgen G, Schmidt AF. The who-5 well-being index – validation based on item response theory and the analysis of measurement invariance across 35 countries. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports. 2020; 1: 100020.

[45] Breusch TS, Pagan AR. A simple test for heteroskedasticity and random coefficient variation. Econometrica. 1979; 47: 1287–1294.

[46] Pan Y, Jackson RT. Ethnic difference in the relationship between acute inflammation and serum ferritin in us adult males. Epi-demiology and Infection. 2008; 136: 421–431.

[47] Tuzovic S, Kabadayi S. The influence of social distancing on employee well-being: a conceptual framework and research agenda. Journal of Service Management. 2020; 32: 145–160.

[48] Sim MR. The COVID-19 pandemic: major risks to healthcare and other workers on the front line. Occupational and Environ-mental Medicine. 2020; 77: 281–282.

[49] Meirun T, Bano S, Javaid MU, Arshad MZ, Shah MU, Rehman U, et al. Nuances of COVID-19 and psychosocial work envi-ronment on nurses’ well-being: the mediating role of stress and eustress in lieu to JD-R theory. Frontiers in Psychology. 2020; 11: 570236.

[50] Walsh J. Gender, the Work-Life Interface and Wellbeing: a Study of Hospital Doctors. Gender, Work & Organization. 2013; 20: 439–453.

[51] Both J, Borgatto AF, Lemos CAF, Ciampolini V, Nascimento JVD. Physical Education teachers’ well-being and its relation with gender. Motricidade. 2017; 13: 23–32.

[52] Lundberg J, Kristenson M, Starrin B. Status incongruence revis-ited: associations with shame and mental wellbeing. Sociology of Health & Illness. 2009; 31: 478–493.

[53] Guo X, Vittinghoff E, Olgin JE, Marcus GM, Pletcher MJ. Vol-unteer Participation in the Health eHeart Study: A Comparison with the US Population. Scientific Reports. 2017; 7: 1956.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch) Created as SCI in 1964, Science Citation Index Expanded now indexes over 9,200 of the world’s most impactful journals across 178 scientific disciplines. More than 53 million records and 1.18 billion cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition aims to evaluate a journal’s value from multiple perspectives including the journal impact factor, descriptive data about a journal’s open access content as well as contributing authors, and provide readers a transparent and publisher-neutral data & statistics information about the journal.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world, driven by a growing community, committed to ensuring quality content is freely available online for everyone.

SCImago The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.)

Publication Forum - JUFO (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies) Publication Forum is a classification of publication channels created by the Finnish scientific community to support the quality assessment of academic research.

Scopus CiteScore 0.7 (2021) Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers Search for publication channels (journals, series and publishers) in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers to see if they are considered as scientific. (

Submission Turnaround Time