The Psychological Well-Being and Civic Engagement of Polish, Croatian and Lithuanian Academic Students during COVID-19 Outbreak

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 6;19(18):11202. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191811202.


The aim of this research was to recognize the relationship between well-being and civic engagement under the difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic amongst students from Poland, Lithuania and Croatia. Overall, 1362 academic students (Poland, n = 596, Croatia, n = 386, and Lithuania, n = 379) participated in the study. Mean rank differences in civic engagement level (overall CE) were analysed by levels of psychological well-being (overall PWB and its subscales) using the Kruskal-Wallis test (one-way ANOVA on ranks). We conducted post hoc analysis with Bonferroni tests to measure the significance of differences in CE between the detailed levels of PWB. To avoid biases due to interaction effects between dependent variables, the analysis of mean ranks was followed by a binomial logistic regression analysis model and subgroups analysis (by gender and by country). Results obtained showed that students with higher levels of psychological well-being have higher levels of civic engagement. The differences in the CE level are most pronounced in relation to the dimension of a PWB, such as "positive relations with others", followed by "personal growth", "autonomy", and "self-acceptance". In a crisis, such as a pandemic, it is worth encouraging students to take targeted actions, as well as to create actions referring to personal development and relationships. There were no differences in the direction and shape of the associations between psychological well-being and civic engagement with respect to the country and the gender of the participants, which leads us to draw conclusions pointing to the globalised nature of student experience during the pandemic in this part of Europe.

Keywords: COVID-19 outbreak; academic students; civic engagement; well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Lithuania / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Students / psychology

Grant support

This article is based upon work from COST Action “Transdisciplinary solutions to cross-sectoral disadvantage in youth (YOUNG-IN)”, CA17114, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), The publication fee was covered by COST Action CA17114.