Psychological stress among Nigerian undergraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19 disease, Pandemic, Psychological stress, University students, Nigeria
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) global pandemic has been linked with a high level of psychological stress from the associated lockdown policy by the government. University students are amongst the high-risk groups for developing COVID-19 related stress due to several factors.
Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of psychological stress among Nigerian undergraduates during the COVID-19 pandemic lock down and assess predictors of moderate and high psychological stress.
Methods: Data from a cross-sectional sample of 471 undergraduate students in Nigerian universities (aged 18 – 42) was utilized to determine the prevalence of psychological stress and assess predictors of moderate and high stress using self-report measures of socio-demographic information, health status, sleep quality and the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale.
Results: The median age (years) of participants was 21 (IQR: 19, 23), consisting of 41.4% males and 58.5% females. The prevalence of low, moderate, and high psychological stress was 13.6%, 62.0% and 24.4% respectively. A reduced risk of moderate and high stress was significantly associated with good/excellent health status and good/excellent sleep quality (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The Covid-19 pandemic is associated with significant levels of stress among Nigerian students. Government policy to combat the pandemic should be formulated in the background of its potential impact on mental health of vulnerable demographics.
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