Does cognitive flexibility change the nature of the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and psychological symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey?

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İNÖZÜ MERMERKAYA M., Gok B. G. , Tuzun D., Haciomeroglu A. B.

CURRENT PSYCHOLOGY, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-021-02450-8
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Psychological symptoms, Cognitive flexibility, Intolerance of uncertainty, Moderation, MENTAL-HEALTH, INFLEXIBILITY
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the mental health of the general population worldwide. The study aimed to determine the associations of the intolerance of uncertainty (IU) and cognitive flexibility (CF) with a variety of psychological symptoms and to examine the impact of IU on psychological symptoms through the moderating role of CF. The Brief Symptom Inventory, Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12, and Cognitive Control and Flexibility Questionnaire were applied to a sample of 3004 adults living in Turkey. The results of the analysis indicated that CF moderated the effect of IU on psychology symptoms. The slope analysis revealed a weakening association between IU and psychological symptoms with the introduction of a high CF level introduced to the model. The findings highlighted the importance of IU as a potential risk factor for developing psychological symptoms while CF appears as a potential protective factor during the COVID-19 pandemic.