COVID well-being and coping in university students

Published: 3 September 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/rdtzrj235c.1
Andras Zsido,
Nikolett Arato,
Orsolya Inhof,
Timea Matuz-Budai,
Diana T. Stecina,
Beatrix Labadi


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unexpected sudden disruption of students’ life, but until now there is not much knowledge about the long-term and complex effects of the disease outbreaks on the mental health university students. In the present investigation, our overarching goal was to test how their actual psychological state (defined as anxiety, depression, quality of sleep, and well-being) is affected by risk and protective factors under the psychological burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we hypothesized that loneliness, intolerance of uncertainty, contamination fear, false beliefs about COVID-19, maladaptive emotional regulation strategies and worrying will have a negative effect, while adaptive emotional regulation strategies and perceived social support will have a positive effect on the actual psychological state. A total of 605 university students (474 females) volunteered to participate in our survey. Their mean age was 22.2 (SD=5.6, age range: 18-30). See Table 1 for a more detailed description of demographic variables. Students were recruited through the Internet by posting invitations on various university forums and mailing lists. The present survey was performed during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic (in April-May 2020). Data includes demographic questions included age, gender, marital status of the respondent, and the people living in the same household (e.g., staying home with the family), and other scales such as UCLA, IUS, CF, CERQ, MSPSS, WHO-5, AIS, STAI, BDI, WDQ. First, we created two groups based on the sum score of answers to the perceived change questions. The first group consisted of participants who reached a negative total score, the second group consisted of participants who reached a totals core of zero or a positive value. We used independent samples t-tests to compare these groups on indicators of psychological well-being: subjective well-being (WHO-5), depressive mood (BDI-6), anxiety (STAI-6), loneliness (UCLA), and sleep quality (AIS-8).