COVID Impacts on Mental Health of Twins in Washington State

Working with colleagues at the Washington State Twin Registry we have published a series of papers looking at how the COVID stay at home order has affected different aspects of behavior, which has in some cases been associated with poor mental health outcomes, such as higher perceived stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. We were able to assess impacts early in the pandemic, with the first questionnaires administered in March of 2020.

Here’s a sample of our recent papers:

[Sleep] Tsang, S., Avery, A.R., Seto, E., Duncan, G.E. (accepted) Is COVID-19 keeping us up at night? Stress, anxiety, and sleep among adult twins, Frontiers in Neuroscience, doi:10.3389/fnins.2021.665777

[Alcohol consumption] Avery, R., Tsang, S., Seto, E. Y. W., Duncan, G. E. (2020) Stress, Anxiety, and Change in Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings Among Adult Twin Pairs. Front. Psychiatry, 11, 571084.doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.571084

[Physical activity] Duncan, G. E., Avery, R., Seto, E., & Tsang, S. (2020) Perceived change in physical activity levels and mental health during COVID-19: Findings among adult twin pairs. PloS one, 15(8), e0237695. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0237695

Most of our analyses utilize the twin analysis design, in which we consider shared genetic and environmental contributions to the observed phenotypes. We have some other papers from the twins that are in review and forthcoming. Stay tuned.