Psychological health is an essential aspect of wellness. It is the state of one’s mental, emotional, and social well-being, and influences the way an individual handles stress and makes decisions. In general, psychological health includes positive aspects of one’s life, such as happiness and optimism, and negative aspects, such as depression and anxiety.
Positive psychological factors include feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, peace, and purpose. Psychiatrists and psychotherapists use a variety of science-based approaches to treat mental disorders. These treatments may include counseling, medication, and other therapy methods.
Negative psychological health conditions have been linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). This association is based on a number of studies using both observational and objective measures. However, this research is still methodologically challenging. As a result, it is often difficult to establish causal associations between psychological health and CVD, due to confounding effects. One of the main reasons for this is the repeated cross-sectional nature of many studies. Another is that the overall data does not provide sufficient information on an individual level. Moreover, the sample size is small, and the results cannot be generalized.
Moreover, the study has only been carried out on students from southern Italy, which diminishes the generalizability of its results. Nevertheless, the study has been approved by the Ethics Committee of the Psychological Research of the University of Naples Federico II. The study was a component of a wider research project that aimed to assess risk factors for psychological health of university students.
For the present study, all students had written informed consent before participating in the study. A total of 545 students from Southern Italy, pre-and post-pandemic, were included in the analysis. Each student was given a psychological symptom questionnaire that measured levels of depression, anxiety, phobic-anxiety, and hostility. After the data were collected, the researchers did a baseline analysis.
The mean levels of these symptoms were then compared during the pandemic and at the baseline. They were found to be higher during the pandemic than at the baseline. Statistical analysis was performed with t-tests. Results were then summarized in an Online Data Supplement.
Overall, the results of this study suggest that university students’ psychological health during the pandemic was negatively affected. However, there are several factors that could be responsible. Therefore, future studies could explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological health of students. Such studies could also investigate the effect of the pandemic on students’ academic performance and motivation.
Developing a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the COVID-19 pandemic affects mental and emotional health may help policymakers in the future to develop tailored interventions to combat the adverse effects of the pandemic. Additionally, such a study should address confounding factors and use longitudinal data to support its conclusions.
Although the study was limited to a sample of university students from Southern Italy, its findings suggest that the impact of the pandemic on students’ customary life could have been significant. Furthermore, future studies are needed to analyze the effects of the pandemic on the psychological health of university students across the globe.