Covid-19 Outbreak and Italian College Students’ Well-being: Evidence for both Negative and Positive Consequences
Background: The Covid-19 virus rapidly spread worldwide, with Italy being one of the most affected countries. College students might have experienced psychological and physical impairment due to this threat to their health and the uncertainty concerning their academic path because of universities’ unexpected and sudden closure. Hence, we aim to analyze college students’ well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic. Methods: We gathered 6075 Italian college students (Mage = 23.60±5.02). They have been evaluated for depression, anxiety, stress, daytime sleepiness, and sleep quality impairment. MANOVAs, MANCOVAs, and one-sample t-tests (with students gathered before the pandemic as the reference group) have been performed. Results: During the Covid-19 pandemic, females and Humanities students experienced higher psychological and physical impairment than males and Technology students. Though, the participants generally experienced an amelioration in their well-being compared to students evaluated before the Covid-19 outbreak, indicating a positive effect of the pandemic. Conclusions: We suggest that Universities should increase their psychological services’ offering, including group counseling interventions. They should also plan to reduce the burden felt by their students during the “regular” academic life. They could allow students to attend lessons from home through recording, and they should try to reduce the overstudying climate.
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