Perceived Stress and Association with Sociodemographic, Interpersonal Relationship and COVID-19 Lockdown Related Stress in South Africa

The Open Public Health Journal 21 Feb 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18749445-v16-e230116-2022-106



COVID-19 pandemic was declared a global public health emergency in March 2020. South Africa, like many countries, was not spared from this pandemic. In March 2020, the president announced a nationwide lockdown with social restrictions aimed to curb the spread of the virus. Such lockdown restrictions disrupted the normal day to day life for South Africans, leading to personal stress.


The current study aimed to explore perceived stress and lockdown related stress among South African adults during the first wave of COVID 19.


This study was cross-sectional in nature, using a sample of 203 adult males and females who were selected using a convenience sampling method on online social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Participants completed an online survey that assessed socio-demographic information, perceived stress and lockdown related stress.

Results and Discussion:

A significant statical difference between males and females regarding their experience of lockdown related stress t (281) = 1.35, p < .004 was found. Relationship status was also significant for lockdown related stress t (281) = -2.02, p< .001 and perceived stress t= (281) = -.08, p< .000. No significant statistical difference between young and older adults in their experience of lockdown related stress and perceived stress was found.


Male participants reported more lockdown related stress, while female participants reported more perceived stress. There were no age differences in lockdown related stress and perceived stress. People without intimate relationships reported more lockdown related stress and perceived stress than people with intimate relationships.

Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdown related stress, Perceived stress, Relationship status, Sociodemographic, Public health.
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