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There are no conclusive findings about the possible protective role of religion on students’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, more research is needed.
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between the level of emotional distress and religiosity among students from 7 different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data were collected by an online cross-sectional survey that was distributed amongst Polish (N = 1196), Bengali (N = 1537), Indian (N = 483), Mexican (N = 231), Egyptian (N = 565), Philippine (N = 2062), and Pakistani (N = 506) students (N = 6642) from 12th April to 1st June 2021. The respondents were asked several questions regarding their religiosity which was measured by The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL), the emotional distress was measured by the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21).
Egypt with Islam as the dominant religion showed the greatest temple attendance (organizational religious activity: M=5.27±1.36) and spirituality (intrinsic religiosity: M=5.27±1.36), p<0.0001. On another hand, Egyptian students had the lowest emotional distress measured in all categories DASS-21 (depression: M=4.87±10.17, anxiety: M=4.78±10.13, stress: M=20.76±11.46). Two countries with the dominant Christian religion achieved the highest score for private religious activities (non-organizational religious activity; Mexico: M=3.94±0.94, Poland: M=3.63±1.20; p<0.0001) and experienced a moderate level of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and stress. Students from Mexico presented the lowest attendance to church (M=2.46±1,39) and spirituality (M=6.68± 3.41) and had the second highest level of depressive symptoms (M=19.13±13.03) and stress (M=20.27±1.98). Philippines students had the highest DASS-21 score (depression: M=22.77±12.58, anxiety: M=16.07±10.77, stress: M=4.87±10.08) and their level of religiosity reached average values in the whole group. The performed regression analysis confirmed the importance of the 3 dimensions (organizational religious activity, non-organizational religious activity, intrinsic religiosity) of religiosity for the well-being of students, except for the relationship between anxiety and private religious activities. The result was as presented for depression: R2=0.0398, F(3.664)=91.764, p<0.0001, SE of E: 12.88; anxiety: R2=0.0124, F(3.664)=27.683, p<0.0001, SE of E: 10,62; stress: R2= 0.0350, F(3.664)=80.363, p<0.0001, SE of E: 12.30.
The higher commitment to organizational religious activity, non-organizational religious activity, and intrinsic religiositywas correlated with the lower level of depressive symptoms, stress, and anxiety among students during the COVID-19 pandemic, but taking into account factors related to religiosity explains the level of emotional well-being to a small extent.
TDuring COVID-19 pandemic, it was noticed that it was students who were mostly affected by the changes that aroused because of the pandemic. The interesting part is whether students’ well-being could be associated with their fields of study as well as coping strategies.
In this study, we aimed to assess 1) the mental health of students from nine countries with a particular focus on depression, anxiety, and stress levels and their fields of study, 2) the major coping strategies of students after one year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We conducted an anonymous online cross-sectional survey on 12th April – 1st June 2021 that was distributed among the students from Poland, Mexico, Egypt, India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Philippines, and Bangladesh. To measure the emotional distress, we used the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), and to identify the major coping strategies of students - the Brief-COPE.
We gathered 7219 responses from students studying five major studies: medical studies (N=2821), social sciences (N=1471), technical sciences (N=891), artistic/humanistic studies (N=1094), sciences (N=942). The greatest intensity of depression (M=18.29±13.83; moderate intensity), anxiety (M=13.13±11.37; moderate intensity ), and stress (M=17.86±12.94; mild intensity) was observed among sciences students. Medical students presented the lowest intensity of all three components - depression (M=13.31±12.45; mild intensity), anxiety (M=10.37±10.57; moderate intensity), and stress (M=13.65±11.94; mild intensity). Students of all fields primarily used acceptance and self-distraction as their coping mechanisms, while the least commonly used were self-blame, denial, and substance use. The group of coping mechanisms the most frequently used was ‘emotional focus’. Medical students statistically less often used avoidant coping strategies compared to other fields of study. Substance use was only one coping mechanism that did not statistically differ between students of different fields of study. Behavioral disengagement presented the highest correlation with depression (r=0.54), anxiety (r=0.48), and stress (r=0.47) while religion presented the lowest positive correlation with depression (r=0.07), anxiety (r=0.14), and stress (r=0.11).
1) The greatest intensity of depression, anxiety, and stress was observed among sciences students, while the lowest intensity of those components was found among students studying medicine.
2) Not using avoidant coping strategies might be associated with lower intensity of all DASS components among students.
3) Behavioral disengagement might be strongly associated with greater intensity of depression, anxiety, and stress among students.
4) There was no coping mechanism that provided the alleviation of emotional distress in all the fields of studies of students.
There is no direct relationship between migration and mental health, certain risk (e.g. acculturative stress) and protective factors of psychosocial well-being are inversely related with psychopathology. Acculturation strategies have been found to be related to psychopathology however this relationship has been minimaly examined with psychosocial well-being. The objectives of this study are to examine the relationship between acculturative stress, acculturation, and psychosocial well-being.
The sample consists of 150 immigrant inpatients hospitalized in tertiary care between 18 and 65 years of age. Acculturative stress, acculturation, social adaptation, anxiety and depression, as well as sociodemogrpahic and attitudinal items were evaluated.
With general health situation controlled, the study found a negative relationship between acculturative stress and psychosocial well-being, as well as between the marginalization acculturation strategy and psychosocial well-being. A relationship was found between acculturation strategies and acculturative stress. There is no positive relationship between the integration acculturation strategy and psychosocial well-being, although the majority of the study participants preferred integration, followed by assimilation. The latter is associated with lower levels of acculturative stress and higher psychosocial well-being. Separation, on the other hand, is associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression, and with a higher quality of life.
None of the acculturation strategies demonstrates a clear advantage in relation to psychosocial well-being, however, marginalization appears to be the least adaptive. It may be useful to revise the notion of what constitutes the most adaptive acculturation strategy for an individual, taking into account his or her psychosocial well-being.
A significant challenge in the culturally sensitive use of psychological and psychiatric instruments for depression is “bias”. Bias means that there is a lack of equivalence: Variation in the score is a result not of variation in the disorder or presence of the symptom in question but rather is due to “cultural factors”. Construct bias is perhaps the most complex of all, and is related to the very manner in which depression is understood. Psychological and psychiatric diagnostic and screening instruments delimit the very “nature” of depression, and fall prey to both false positives and false negatives when assessing individuals from cultures in which the experience and expression of depression is distinct from that found in the West. Equally complex are both method and item bias. In the former, the very method used—for example, a horizontal Likert-like scale—is responded to differentially across cultures, thus resulting in variance that is due not to variations in the presence of symptom but rather the manner of response. Item bias occurs when the item in question is understood in different ways in different cultures. Finally, there is concern about basic issues surround norms, cut-off scores and the like, in as much as the lack of equivalence indicates that results must be interpreted in accordance with population specific norms. Depression diagnostic and screening instruments and their items will be selectively reviewed to demonstrate the presence of bias, and concrete suggestions will be presented to achieve a more culturally sensitive assessment process.
The relationship between immigration and mental health may in part be affected by factors related to social context in general and in relation to specific ethnic groups in specific social contexts. A growing body of research is exploring the impact of neighborhood context on the well-being of immigrants. The specifics, however, have yet to be identified.
To analyze the impact of social context on stress and acculturative stress in a hospitalised Latin American immigrant sample.
The study was part of a larger project concerning stress, coping, and psychosocial well being in Latin American immigrants hospitalised in both internal medicine and obstetrics in a large public hospital in Barcelona (Spain). 290 participants were evaluated with the PSS-10 for general stress, the BISS for acculturative stress and a sociodemographic questionnaire elaborated ad hoc for social context.
Neighborhood socioeconomic level is related to general stress and acculturative stress. A lower socioeconomic level is associated with higher levels of stress and acculturative stress. High levels of ethnic density of Latin American immigrants is moderately associated with lower levels of homesickenss and intercultural contact stress, but are not related with perceived discrimination.
Social context is an important factor that should be considered in the acculturative process of Latin American immigrants and its impact on their mental health status. A low socioeconomic neighborhood level increases levels of stress and acculturative stress, increasing the risk of psychosocial distress.
Own group ethnic density would appear to function as a protective factor.