Carnegie Mellon University

Behavior and Affect in Quarantine (PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)

In addition to daily self-assessments of subjective illness symptoms (see Daily Symptoms in Quarantine), participants in the four Pittsburgh studies (PCS1, PCS2, PMBC, and PCS3) completed daily self-reports of mood and health-related behaviors while in quarantine.  Specifically, between 5:00 and 5:30 pm on each quarantine day, participants completed self-report questionnaires that contained items asking them to describe their mood and engagement in 3 health-related behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical exercise [PMBC and PCS3 only]) during the past 24 hours.  Participants were also asked about their sleep during the previous night and how rested they felt when they woke that morning.

Daily Positive and Negative Affect in Quarantine (PCS1 & PCS2; PMBC & PCS3)


Using a 5-point rating scale, participants indicated the extent to which each of several mood adjectives described how they had been feeling during the past 24 hours.


0 = not at all; 1 = a little; 2 = some; 3 = quite a bit; 4 = a lot

Number of Items

PCS1: 25

PCS2: 18

PMBC, PCS3: 14


The individual state affect scale scores (Calm, Well-Being, Vigor, Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, and Fear) were created for each day in quarantine by computing a mean score across the items comprising each scale.  Composite state Positive Affect and Negative Affect variables were created by taking the mean of the relevant individual scales (see Daily Affect for details on scale computations).

Daily Health Practices in Quarantine (PCS1; PCS2, PMBC, PCS3)


Participants were asked whether they smoked, consumed alcohol, and exercised (PMBC & PCS3) during the past 24 hours.  Participants who responded “yes” to any of these items were also asked to elaborate on each positive response indicating the number of cigars, cigarettes, or other tobacco products smoked; the number of alcoholic beverages consumed; and the number of minutes engaged in exercise.

Participants also were asked whether they felt rested when they woke that morning (yes/no).  In PCS1, participants also were asked whether they had any problems sleeping last night (yes/no) and whether they had had any difficulty staying awake during the day that day (yes/no).  In PCS2, PMBC, and PCS3, participants were presented with the following 2 additional sleep-related items:

  • An open-ended question inquiring about the number of minutes of sleep they lost between the time they went to bed last night and the time they woke this morning;
  • An item asking them to use a 4-point scale to rate the overall quality of their sleep during the preceding night (1=very bad, 2=fairly bad, 3=fairly good, 4=very good).

Number of Items

PCS1: 5



In all four studies, all endorsed tobacco products for a given day were summed to create a total cigars/cigarettes/other variable.  Only PCS1 includes data for each of the three categories of tobacco product in addition to this daily summary score.  Likewise, PCS1 also contains data on individual alcoholic beverages (wine, hard liquor, and beer) in addition to a summary “total drinks” score.  PCS2, PMBC, and PCS3 only asked participants to provide the number of alcoholic beverages they consumed without asking them to specify type.