In view of the grave consequences of distress reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, this study investigated CSE (Core Self-evaluations)–internal/external health locus of control, generalized self-efficacy and trait optimism–and intolerance of uncertainty as potential correlates of distress reactions. We conducted an online questionnaire-based cross-sectional study with 422 Israeli respondents. Pandemic-related distress was defined by perceived stress, negative and positive affect, and worries. Predictors were: health locus of control, generalized self-efficacy, trait optimism, and intolerance of uncertainty. The findings show that CSEs and intolerance of uncertainty added between 11% (to perceived stress) and 22% (to negative affect) of explained variance beyond the background variables. Specifically, higher trait optimism and generalized self-efficacy were associated with less distress, and greater intolerance of uncertainty was correlated with higher distress. In conclusion, the CSE framework is useful for explaining psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond their theoretical contribution, the findings may have practical implications for increasing resilience and ameliorating distress during a pandemic.
- core self-evaluations
- psychological distress