A Longitudinal Study on University Students' Coping Strategies and Psychological Symptoms during COVID-19 Full and Partial Lockdowns Over a 5-Month Interval


A longitudinal experimental study, coping strategies, psychological symptoms, COVID-19, Full lockdown, partial lockdown

How to Cite

Chaman, A., & Shaheen , T. (2024). A Longitudinal Study on University Students’ Coping Strategies and Psychological Symptoms during COVID-19 Full and Partial Lockdowns Over a 5-Month Interval. Nature-Nurture Journal of Psychology, 4(1), 31–46. https://doi.org/10.53107/nnjp.v4i1.75


Background:Background: Scholars have broadly debated the profound and detrimental effect of both full and partial COVID-19 lockdowns on the physical and mental health of individuals globally. University students have encountered different social, financial, academic, and psychological challenges stemming from the epidemic. Therefore, the present study aimed to elucidate the effectiveness of utilizing both maladaptive and healthy coping strategies to mitigate or ameliorate psychological challenges experienced during the different waves of COVID-19's partial and full lockdowns.

Method: The study employed a double-blind, purposive sample technique, within-group design, and pretest-posttest experimental design. 40 university students aged 18 to 25 years (M = 21.57, SD = 1.05) were included at the Foundation University School of Science and Technology, Pakistan, from March 23 to August 23, 2020. The study used two standardized psychological instruments to measure coping strategies, somatic symptoms, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, interpersonal sensitivity, depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, hostility symptoms, phobic anxiety symptoms, paranoid ideation symptoms, and psychotic symptoms in university students.

Results: This study revealed that healthy coping strategies were helpful in mitigating mental health challenges across both partial and full lockdown phases. The results also exhibited that denial coping strategies were a more prevalent coping mechanism in the full lockdown phase, whereas emotional support-seeking coping strategies emerged as more prominent in partial lockdowns. Moreover, self-distraction and religious coping were found to be helpful strategies. Conversely, the behavioral disengagement coping strategy was observed as a maladaptive coping mechanism in partial lockdowns. Moreover, the stability of psychological symptoms during the pre-test, post-test, and follow-up examinations during both partial and full COVID-19 epidemic lockdowns in Pakistan students.

Conclusions: This study’s findings are very important to comprehend how university students navigate mental challenges and bolster their psychological well-being during and beyond the epidemic. This study draws the inference that both adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies used by students can have lasting effects on their mental health and academic performance.

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Copyright (c) 2024 Aqsa Chaman, Tahira Shaheen