Mental health prevalence and predictors among university students in nine countries during the COVID‑19 pandemic: a cross‑national study

Dominika Ochnik, Aleksandra M. Rogowska, Cezary Kuśnierz, Monika Jakubiak, Astrid Schütz, Marco J. Held, Ana Arzenšek, Joy Benatov, Rony Berger, Elena V. Korchagina, Iuliia Pavlova, Ivana Blažková, Imran Aslan, Orhan Çınar, Yonni Angel Cuero Acosta

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The student population has been highly vulnerable to the risk of mental health deterioration during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This study aimed to reveal the prevalence and predictors of mental health among students in Poland, Slovenia, Czechia, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Israel, and Colombia in a socioeconomic context during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study
was conducted among 2349 students (69% women) from May–July 2020. Data were collected by means of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), Gender Inequality Index (GII), Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), and a sociodemographic survey. Descriptive
statistics and Bayesian multilevel skew-normal regression analyses were conducted. The prevalence of high stress, depression, and generalized anxiety symptoms in the total sample was 61.30%, 40.3%, and 30%, respectively. The multilevel Bayesian model showed that female sex was a credible predictor
of PSS-10, GAD-7, and PHQ-8 scores. In addition, place of residence (town) and educational level (first-cycle studies) were risk factors for the PHQ-8. This study showed that mental health issues are alarming in the student population. Regular psychological support should be provided to students by
Original languageSpanish (Colombia)
Article number18644
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Sep 20 2021

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