Emotional state and coping strategies among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown
XVI PhD Meeting in Psychology
Considering the vulnerability of young adults’ mental health, and the abrupt change to their routines as a result of the first lockdown decreed in Portugal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in March of 2020, this study analyzed 1) the emotional state of a sample of university students during the first lockdown, 2) the coping strategies they reported adopting during that period of time, 3) the mediating role of coping strategies in reported anxiety, depression and stress symptoms. Results show that, similarly to what has been found in other countries, women report higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress during the first lockdown period. Women also report resorting more frequently to not only negative coping strategies, but also positive ones (such as social support). Coping strategies of Retreat and Refusal mediate the relation between the participant’s sex and their emotional state. Results point to reflecting on interventions for the promotion of young university students’ mental well-being, particularly in light of the differences in adopted coping strategies.
Coping strategies,Anxiety,Depression,Stress,Young adults