Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has an enormous impact on people’s daily lives. Not only the physical health of many individuals is at risk but regulations to reduce the risk of the virus, such as ‘social distancing measures’ and ‘stay-at-home orders’ may have severe consequences for people’s mental health. A particular vulnerable group may be college students as they belong to the group that may be undergoing the greatest change in social activities. While many students may have had a full social life before the pandemic, during the pandemic they are likely to have less contact with friends, acquaintances and even their family as many students may not live at home. In this study, we examine which students are especially at risk of experiencing mental health problems and we look whether there are protective factors that can improve students’ mental health. We examine whether psychological consequences differ among 2nd year students depending upon their personal interests, values, personality, competences and goals as assessed before the start of the pandemic and depending on how the lock-down measures affected their personal situation and the support they received from peers and their study program. For the first-year students starting in September 2020, we aim to find out how the “new normal” study situation under COVID-19 influences students’ mental health, especially for students at-risk (minority members). Furthermore, with this research we aim to identify protective factors (e.g., peer support, teaching climate, resilience) for a diverse group of students. This way, we can provide a theoretical basis for interventions with college students and advise on how education should proceed during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we also want to contribute to students’ well-being and support students who are at risk. Therefore, the Career Compass feedback tool will be used to provide students with feedback and give directions for further support if needed.
Dr. Maaike Endedijk - project leader
Dr. Marlon Nieuwenhuis
Dr. Lianne Aarntzen
Dr. Nadine Köhle (PGT)
Dr. Saskia Kelders (PGT)
Dr. Ruth van Veelen (University of Utrecht)
Lucia Rabago-Mayer, BSc. (BMS-Lab)
Below you find the outcomes of the study.
Duration of the project
September 2020 – January 2021
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