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Posted: September 4th, 2023

The Impact of Social Support on the Mental Health of University Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Impact of Social Support on the Mental Health of University Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to the lives of university students worldwide. The pandemic has resulted in the closure of educational institutions, restricted social gatherings, and social distancing measures that have led to feelings of isolation and loneliness among students. Loneliness and isolation can significantly impact mental health and can lead to depression and anxiety. In this paper, we will discuss the impact of social support on the mental health of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methodology:
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 university students aged 18 to 25 years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study used a self-administered questionnaire, which included the Loneliness Scale and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) to assess the prevalence of loneliness and depression among university students.

Results:
The results of the study revealed that 40% of the participants reported feeling lonely, while 30% reported symptoms of depression. The study also found that social support was a significant predictor of loneliness and depression. Participants who reported higher levels of social support reported lower levels of loneliness and depression. Social support was found to be a significant protective factor for the mental health of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussion:
The findings of this study suggest that social support plays a critical role in the mental health of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social support can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and can promote positive mental health outcomes such as lower levels of depression and anxiety. The study highlights the importance of social support in promoting mental health among university students during times of crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of university students. The study findings suggest that social support is a critical factor in promoting positive mental health outcomes among university students during times of crisis. Universities should provide adequate support to their students, including counseling services, peer support groups, and online resources, to help students cope with the psychological effects of the pandemic. It is essential to address the mental health needs of university students to ensure their well-being and academic success.

References:
Alkhamees, A. A., Alrabiah, Z., Alghamdi, S. M., Alhossan, J., & Alshammari, M. (2021). Loneliness and depression among female university students during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2020. International Journal of Public Health, 67(6), 1604885.
Lovibond, P. F., & Lovibond, S. H. (1995). The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) with the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(3), 335-343.

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