Tracking depressive and anxious symptoms during the first year of COVID‐19: The search for moderators. By: Haeffel, Gerald J. 2024. Sociology Compass. Vol. 18 Issue 1, p1-10.

A growing body of research suggests that the COVID19 pandemic did not cause the severe and extensive mental health crisis predicted by some experts. However, this does not mean that everyone was resilient. The purpose of this study was to try to identify subgroups of people that may have experienced more severe and negative trajectories of symptoms during this time. To this end, we examined a host of individual difference factors (e.g., age, gender, race, country, parental status, medical conditions, lost wages,perceived support, initial symptom levels, and cognitive vulnerability) using a 1year longitudinal design with 8 time points and participants (n = 233) from over 20 countries. We were unable to identify a single moderator associated with a robust and increasingly negative trajectory of depressive and anxious symptoms throughout the COVID interval. These results underscore the need for better theories of mental illness, stronger research designs that do not rely on simple crosssectional betweengroup comparisons, and more caution when predicting mental health crises.