METHODs: We analyzed cross-sectional survey data collected from August to November 2020 using the Qualtrics platform. Our sample included 568 participants of which 260 (45.77%) were NYC residents and 308 (54.3%) were non-NYC residents. Depression was assessed through the CESD-R-10. Descriptive statistics were run for the sample demographics and then stratified by residency (NYC and non-NYC). A series of multiple linear regression were run to examine the relationship between race/ethnicity, COVID-19 stigma and depressive symptoms.
RESULTS: Irrespective of residency, having older age (b =-0.07, p=0.001), identifying as female (b=-1.14, p=0.035), and being non-Hispanic Asian (b=-1.8, p=0.018) were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Stigma (b=1.96, p=0.004) and thinking less of oneself (b=1.05, p=<.0001) were significantly associated with depressive symptoms across residency. A significant interaction was found between thinking less of oneself and identifying as Hispanic Black (Total sample: b= -2.54, p<0.0001; NYC resident: b= -2.28, p=0.011; non-NYC residents: b=-2.56, p=0.012).
CONCLUSION: Our study expects to benefit social workers and public health professionals in designing best practices to mitigate stigma in the context of ongoing or future pandemics.