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Mental health and intentions to quit among nurses in Iran during COVID‐19 Pandemic: A social identity approach

Cakal, Huseyin


Huseyin Cakal


The positive effects of social identification on mental health are well documented in the literature. However, most of this research has been conducted among small groups in WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich and Democratic Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 61) settings. Understanding how social identity as a psychological source can improve resilience and welfare among frontline healthcare workers in non-WEIRD contexts can help to alleviate the negative impact of large-scale epidemics overall, especially in resource-poor settings and contribute towards improved welfare of key healthcare workers. The present research investigates whether identifying as a nurse could influence mental health and intentions to quit directly and indirectly via positive and negative emotions among a unique sample of Iranian nurses (N = 462) during a risky period, the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple regression results showed that identifying as a nurse was negatively associated with negative emotions which in turn were positively related to depressive symptoms. In a similar vein, identifying as a nurse was positively associated with positive emotions which, in turn, were negatively related to intentions to quit. Results also confirmed that risk perceptions related to COVID-19 positively moderated the effect of social identification on negative emotions only. That is, identification as a nurse was associated with reduced negative emotions only when perceived risk was low. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 7, 2022
Publication Date Dec 7, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2023
Journal Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Print ISSN 1052-9284
Publisher Wiley
Volume 33
Issue 3
Pages 690-707
Keywords Sociology and Political Science, Social Psychology
Publisher URL