The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China

Psychiatry Res. 2020 May;287:112934. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112934. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Abstract

A COVID-19 epidemic has been spreading in China and other parts of the world since December 2019. The epidemic has brought not only the risk of death from infection but also unbearable psychological pressure. We sampled college students from Changzhi medical college by using cluster sampling. They responded to a questionnaire packet that included the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) and those inquiring the participants' basic information. We received 7,143 responses. Results indicated that 0.9% of the respondents were experiencing severe anxiety, 2.7% moderate anxiety, and 21.3% mild anxiety. Moreover, living in urban areas (OR = 0.810, 95% CI = 0.709 - 0.925), family income stability (OR = 0.726, 95% CI = 0.645 - 0.817) and living with parents (OR = 0.752, 95% CI = 0.596 - 0.950) were protective factors against anxiety. Moreover, having relatives or acquaintances infected with COVID-19 was a risk factor for increasing the anxiety of college students (OR = 3.007, 95% CI = 2.377 - 3.804). Results of correlation analysis indicated that economic effects, and effects on daily life, as well as delays in academic activities, were positively associated with anxiety symptoms (P < .001). However, social support was negatively correlated with the level of anxiety (P < .001). It is suggested that the mental health of college students should be monitored during epidemics.

Keywords: COVID-19; College students; Psychological.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders* / etiology
  • Anxiety Disorders* / psychology
  • Anxiety* / etiology
  • Anxiety* / psychology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Epidemics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Support
  • Students, Medical* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult