Emotional Creativity Improves Posttraumatic Growth and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Emotional creativity refers to a set of cognitive abilities and personality traits related to the originality of emotional experience and expression. Previous studies have found that emotional creativity can positively predict posttraumatic growth and mental health. The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed great challenges to people’s daily lives and their mental health status. Therefore, this study aims to address the following two questions: whether emotional creativity can improve posttraumatic growth and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it works. To do this, a multiple mediation model has been proposed, which supposes that emotional creativity is associated with posttraumatic growth and mental health through perceived social support and regulatory emotional self-efficacy. The study involved 423 participants from multiple regions with different COVID-19 involvement levels. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire with six parts, which included Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI), Regulatory Emotional Self-Efficacy Scale (RES), Stress-Related Growth Scale-Short Form (SRGS-SF), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support scale (MSPSS), Brief Symptom Inventory-18 scale (BSI-18), and COVID-19-related life events questionnaire. Path analysis used to examine the mediation model indicated that under the control of COVID-19-related life events and age, perceived social support mediated a positive association between emotional creativity and posttraumatic growth as well as a negative association between emotional creativity and all mental health problems, including somatization, depression, and anxiety. Regulatory emotional self-efficacy mediates the association between emotional creativity and posttraumatic growth, emotional creativity and anxiety, and emotional creativity and depression. The results suggest that emotional creativity plays an important role in coping with stressful events related to COVID-19. Furthermore, these results might provide a better understanding of the possible paths through which emotional creativity is related to psychological outcomes, such as mental health and posttraumatic growth.

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