Gender differences in the mental health impact of the COVID-19 lockdown: Longitudinal evidence from the Netherlands

Lifelines Corona Research initiative, A. Vloo, R. J.M. Alessie, Jochen O. Mierau, Jochen O. Mierau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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Recent contributions highlighted gender differences in the mental health consequences of COVID-19 lockdowns. However, their cross-sectional designs cannot differentiate between pre-existing gender differences and differences induced by lockdowns. Estimating fixed-effects models using longitudinal data from the Lifelines biobank and cohort study with repeated mental health measurements throughout the lockdown, we overcome this caveat. Significant gender differences in mental health during the lockdown were found, where women experienced more depression symptoms and disorders and men experienced more anxiety symptoms and disorders stemming from the lockdown. Policymakers need to keep in mind that the COVID-19 lockdowns have different effects on mental health for men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100878
Number of pages14
JournalSSM - Population Health
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2021


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Gender differences
  • Lockdown
  • Mental health
  • Pandemic

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