“Caught by the pandemic”: Social, academic, and psychological functioning of college students, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Luísa Campos, Pedro Dias, Matilde Cruz


This study examined the social, academic, and psychological functioning (anxiety, depression, and stress), during the first lockdown due to COVID-19 (March-July 2020), of a group of Portuguese college students. Aims: (a) to characterize the perception of the social, academic, and psychological impact of the lockdown; (b) to examine the relationship between social, academic, and psychological impact and sociodemographic, contextual, and academic characteristics; (c) to study predictors of the psychological impact of the lockdown (anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and stress). The sample consisted of 247 students who responded to a sociodemographic, contextual, and academic questionnaire, and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales-21. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests, independent-sample t-tests, and linear multiple regressions. The negative psychological impact was predicted by gender, physical activity, problems connecting to the internet, and study cycle. This study highlighted the need to promote the social-emotional development of higher education students “caught by” the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19, Higher education students, Social impact, Academic impact, Psychological impact.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14417/ap.2030


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