Post-pandemic problems of university students. Analysis of the situation in Spanish universities by years and branches of study
There exists evidence of the progressive increase in psychological problems amongst university students, aggravated during COVID-19. However, available data are insufficient to allow firm conclusions to be drawn regarding the degree of impact and the areas affected. This study analyses the presence of a series of academic, interpersonal and emotional problems and the differences between years and branches of study in Spanish universities. A total of 5,221 students from 35 universities filled out an online questionnaire comprising standardized tests. The mean scores show a student who is overloaded with academic work, with “quite a lot of” or “a lot of” difficulty in distancing him/herself from personal problems and seeking help, with “quite a lot of” stress and physical discomfort and with mean scores indicating a probable and/or clinical case of anxiety in all branches of study, and who, as a result of the pandemic, reports a deterioration in attention and concentration and in emotional state, but also an improvement in relationships with classmates and a reduction in consumption of substances. Factorial ANOVAs showed high transversality of problems between years of study and differences between branches of study. The specificity of the problems identified and their social and economic repercussions make it recommendable that universities establish measures of prevention and specific treatments.