Archives of Health Science and Research

Gender-Related Vulnerability to Social Anxiety During Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: A Systematic Review


Department of Psychology, Education and Sports, European University of Tirana, Faculty of Humanities, Education and Liberal Arts, Albania


Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Barleti University, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tirana, Albania


Department of Behavior and Health Sciences, Barleti University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tourism and Sports, Tirana, Albania

Arch Health Sci Res 2024; 11: 2-7
DOI: 10.5152/ArcHealthSciRes.2023.23049
Read: 96 Downloads: 93 Published: 20 February 2024

The present review aimed to evaluate research studies on gender patterns of social anxiety during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in order to determine whether there is an increased COVID-19-related vulnerability for women as compared to men. The re-conceptualization of essential social components of quality of life due to COVID-19 pandemic has globally increased rates of psychological disorders such as social anxiety, although the issue of increased gender-related susceptibility is not settled. The searching process was conducted from September 2022 to February 2023 across 3 databases: Cochrane, PubMed, and Google Scholar. The study followed PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines for systematic reviews. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria and were subsequently considered for the review. Empirical data originated from 8 different countries, including Canada, Poland, Spain, China, USA, Australia, United Kingdom, and Portugal. Cross-sectional studies outnumbered longitudinal studies and generally indicated significant gender differences (women were significantly more likely to have social anxiety), although effect sizes were small. However, the claim of increased vulnerability of women as related to the COVID-19 pandemic was only supported by 3 studies. Although gender differences in social anxiety were generally present across countries, there was insufficient research evidence on increased COVID-19-related vulnerability to social anxiety for women as compared to men. Further research should address the methodological limitations of studies, particularly as regards instrumentation or the involvement of cross-cultural variables.

Cite this article as: Melonashi E, Kaleci B, Bodinaku A. Gender-related vulnerability to social anxiety during COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review. Arch Health Sci Res. 2024;11(1):2-7.

EISSN 2687-4644