Perceived social support, loneliness, and hope during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Testing a mediating model in the UK, USA, and Israel

Liad Bareket-Bojmel*, Golan Shahar, Sarah Abu-Kaf, Malka Margalit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The COVID-19 epidemic is affecting the entire world and hence provides an opportunity examine how people from different countries engage in hopeful thinking. The aim of this study was to examine the potentially facilitating role of perceived social support vis-à-vis hope as well as the mediating role of loneliness between perceived social support and hope. This mediating model was tested concurrently in the UK, the USA, and Israel. Methods: In April 2020, as the first wave of the virus struck the three aforementioned countries, we assessed perceived social support, loneliness, and hope in 400 adults per country (N = 1,200). Assessments in the UK/USA were conducted via the Prolific platform, whereas in Israel they were conducted via Facebook/WhatsApp. Results: In all three countries, perceived social support predicted elevated hope, although the effect was smallest in the UK. Loneliness mediated this effect in all three countries, although full mediation was attained only in the UK. Conclusions: Perceived social support may facilitate hope in dire times, possibly through the reduction of loneliness. Practitioner Points: Findings are consistent with respect to the potentially protective role of perceived social support vis-à-vis hope. Perceived social support may increase hope through decreasing loneliness. In the UK, the above-noted mediating effect of loneliness appears to be stronger than in Israel and the USA. Elevated levels of perceived social support should serve as a desired outcome in individual and group psychotherapy, as well as in community based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • hope
  • international reactions to crisis
  • loneliness
  • perceived social support


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