Psychological Effects of Coronavirus Disease 2019 on Students

*Corresponding author: Sreeja R. Kuppam*

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original research

Abstract

Background
This qualitative study investigated the psychological effects on 21 U.S. high school students during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Aim
The study aimed to identify and assess the pandemic’s effect on the mental health of these students.
Method
To determine the stress and anxiety students faced during the pandemic, an online survey used five open-ended questions that focused on awareness of the pandemic surrounding the major themes of insight, stress, anxiety, social support, and adapted coping strategies. NVivo software analyzed the raw data. Colaizzi’s descriptive phenomenological analysis method converted the quantitative results into a visual/verbal form. Based on the analysis, the researcher identified the pandemic’s effects on students’ mental health and well-being.
Results
All 21 participants responded to each of the five questions. Of the participants, 72% demonstrated a negative outlook on their future. Seventy percent (70%) of the participants felt that COVID-19 hurt their social life because of safety precautions, such has social distancing. Even though schools and their faculty tried to keep students engaged and active, 64% of the participants found it challenging to be physically distanced from friends and teachers while learning from home. Of the students, 62% worried about missing out on sports and activities canceled due to the pandemic. 63.14% of the students felt the pandemic stressed
them to the point that fear and anxiety overwhelmed them with many questions about the future.
Conclusion
This study’s results may help create programs that better meet students’ mental and social needs.
Keywords
COVID-19; Pandemic; High school; College students; Mental health; Stress; Anxiety; Coping strategies; Depression.