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January 19, 2021
45 percent of students across the seven universities in the country reported high risk of psychological impacts.
Students at seven public universities across the United States were found vulnerable to negative psychological effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey, published in the journal PLOS ONE, these college students were battling significant mental health challenges and the COVID-19 crisis.
The survey was based on students’ responses to questions including the extent to which they experienced negative emotions such as stress, fear, guilt, irritability, and worry concerning COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, there were open-ended question about how their feelings had changed after the pandemic hit the public.
COVID-19 Affected Mental Well-Being of Students
When asked about the extent to which they felt specific emotions, 45 five percent students were found vulnerable to high risk of psychological impacts while 40 percent of students experienced moderate psychological risk.
“The pandemic is problematic for everyone, and we know that it’s especially problematic for students who are eager to experience the unique social atmosphere that college life has to offer,” said study co-author Lincoln Larson, associate professor of parks, recreation and tourism management at North Carolina State University.
In response to the open-ended responses, students reported experiencing lack of motivation (more than 21 percent), anxiety (nearly 17 percent), stress and isolation.
“Our study documents that nearly half of college students were at a severe handicap in terms of their quality of life, education and social relationships because of their mental health during the early stages of the pandemic,” said the study’s lead author Matthew Browning, an assistant professor at Clemson University.
The study also worked on ways to minimize the risk factors causing mental health impacts. They suggested that spending two or more hours of daily time outdoors “was linked to lower mental health impacts before adjusting for other risk factors”.