OBJECTIVE: Worry about COVID-19 is an important cognitive component and manifestation of COVID-19-related anxiety . It has a social dimension and is shaped by various social factors . DATA: We employ original data from a large survey (N = 20,632) conducted in China from April 21 to 23 , 2020, which provide us with a rare opportunity to investigate COVID-19-induced worry among ordinary Chinese citizens .
RESULTS: We find individuals' socioeconomic status, family characteristics, sense of community, and perceived strictness of lockdown measures all have significant influences on worry about COVID-19 .
CONCLUSIONS: First, individuals with higher socioeconomic status such as better education, better income, and more prestigious occupations have richer resources in coping with COVID-19 and are thus less worried . Second, the high human-to-human transmissibility of COVID-19 and increased family obligations during the pandemic imply that larger family size can be a worry-inducing burden . Individuals living with larger families are more worried . Third, a greater sense of community lowers worry as it buffers against the stressor and may enhance individuals' faith in the community's efficacy in containing the virus . Last, stringent lockdown measures may actually have positive psychological effects . They provide real and perceived protection and increase individuals' perceived distance from the disease, thereby reducing public worry.