Maintaining Mental Health for Teenagers in the Pandemic


Psychological and other aspects of the pandemic are currently the most discussed topic both in the media and among scientists in various fields. The pandemic contributes to the manifestation of destructive mental reactions in healthy people, including anxiety, fear, phobia, obsession, and depression, as well as a distorted perception of the actual situation. The pandemic also harmed students’ lives, who more often began to experience stress and missed communicating with their classmates.

What Stress Is

Psychologists made various interpretations in the studies of the state of stress. Therefore, the researchers first understand it as a psychological, not a nervous tension that can arise in a complicated situation (Khosravani et al., 2021). Based on different interpretations in understanding the categories of “stress”, most scientists agree that it is understood as excessive tension of the nervous system that occurs in difficult situations (Taylor et al., 2020). It is worth emphasizing that stress cannot be identified with anxiety since real-life problems always cause it, and anxiety can occur even in their absence.

Various studies have shown a direct connection between the state of anxiety and a premonition of frustration. Scientists claim that anxiety can arise when anticipating a situation that contains the danger of frustration of an actualized need (Khosravani et al., 2021). Based on this, it is necessary to note that frustration and stress include anxiety without any understanding of them. Any person in a certain period can experience the so-called average level of anxiety, which is temporary and can be efficiently dealt with if desired (Taylor et al., 2020). However, if the state of anxiety will be prolonged, as a result of which a person will not be able to cope with it independently. Thus, it obviously will have a disorganizing effect on life. In this case, it can be argued about the appearance of a state of increased anxiety. An increase in the level of anxiety accompanies the occurrence of various diseases and a significant decrease in the quality of life.

Daily disturbing news that directly concerns every person causes feelings of anxiety among the population. Stress and tension are the most urgent problem of modern society today, as they are becoming more and more every day, they have practically filled everything around them (Khosravani et al., 2021). The most important disturbing news for the whole planet’s population is the news about the possibility of infection with coronavirus. Uncertainty makes a significant contribution to the development of this cause of anxiety, which manifests itself in the atypical impact of a new virus on the body and ends with the destabilization of the economy and severe changes in the plans of most people on the planet.

Another aspect, that is also associated with the crisis, is the strangeness of what is happening. Moreover, it supports the dire state of the world’s population. The coronavirus is compared with the flu in the media space, but medical professionals do not recognize such analogs (Çalık, 2020). However, many people also die from the flu. The artificially created escalation of anxiety observed during the pandemic contributes to an increase in people’s pattern of thinking and reduces the ability to make a long-term assessment of the measures taken by the authorities.

Nevertheless, the way out of the crisis depends on people and how the perception of the pandemic is connected with the picture of the world in their heads (Bardeen et al., 2021). No one can say precisely when the pandemic will end, quarantine measures will be lifted, and what impact this pandemic will have on the world economy. However, it can be assumed that people’s psychological discomfort will only increase shortly.

Methods and Materials

The following research methods were used to achieve the set research goal: analysis of psychological and pedagogical literature, conversation, questionnaire, and mathematical and statistical data processing. Consequently, an anonymous questionnaire survey of students aged 17-23 years was conducted on the survey “The attitude of the population to the spread of coronavirus infection and the influence of the media on the occurrence of anxiety”. Thus, 352 students took part in the survey, including 70 boys and 282 girls. The questionnaire included a structurally organized set of 16 questions, each of which is related to the tasks of the conducted research. The survey included both direct questions that asked the respondent to express their position and indirect questions (agreement or disagreement with other people’s positions). By the nature of the application, questions were divided into:

  1. open questions that invited the respondent to give a written answer in any form;
  2. closed questions that allowed the respondent to choose from several answer options formulated by the researcher;
  3. semi-closed questions contained, along with a set of proposed answers, the so-called open part, in which the respondent can give their answer if none of the proposed ones suits.

The questionnaire included the following components: an appeal to the respondent; a message about the organization conducting the survey; a message about the research goals; instructions for filling it out. The text of the questionnaire is adapted to the level of culture and education of the respondents. The survey was of a mass nature; the contact with the respondents was in absentia through a computer network during the period of self-isolation with coronavirus infection.

Results and Discussion

Quantitative and qualitative analysis of each of the proposed questions allowed us to diagnose the following results. Answering the question, “Do you consider yourself an anxious and suspicious person?” 25% of the students surveyed (87 people) agreed with this statement, 56% (190 people) gave a negative answer, and 20% of boys and girls (70 people) did not think about it. Before the coronavirus infection outbreak, most subjects – 71% (251 people) did not experience anxiety before the possibility of contracting viral diseases, for a quarter of the total number of students surveyed – 17% (60 people), this problem was significant. It is worth noting that this group was made up of students from 4 courses. A small proportion of respondents – 12% (43 people) – did not think about it, despite the period of entering adulthood.

In 62% (219 people) of students, the coronavirus has become a very urgent problem for all humanity, causing a feeling of anxiety for their health and the health of their loved ones. They comb pharmacies in search of masks and antiseptics. Students are worried about the timing of the session and the postponement of the holidays. The majority of respondents in this group were students of 1-2 courses. Most nonresident students went home, and some stayed in dormitories (orphaned children), where the risks of infection are high. Students had to earn extra money during the training period, but because of quarantine measures, they lost this opportunity, which negatively affected their emotional and economic well-being (Hamza et al., 2020). Also, in the context of the epidemic and the crisis, this issue became more acute in the group of other respondents – some students had to spend less time studying to support themselves.

Almost half of the respondents’ incomes have decreased in recent months (for example, parents have lost their jobs), which causes concern among young men and women for their well-being and academic performance at university. 30% (79 people) of respondents are not afraid of getting sick because they believe this infection is not dangerous. They do not believe in a pandemic, consider COVID-19 something like a harmless cold, accuse the media of inciting panic, and deliberately do not change their usual lifestyle. Also, 7.2% (67 people) did not think about it at all.

Furthermore, 45.8% (168 people) of the respondents attempt to reduce anxiety and fear during the period of self-isolation through online games, and communication with friends and classmates through social networks. Also, 50.4% (184 people) live everyday life, and for example, they are engaged in sports, meet with friends, and break the self-isolation regime in the expectation that the pandemic will end soon. In addition, 6% (25 people) believe that there is no reason for alarm. Over time everyone will get over the coronavirus infection, and the situation will stabilize. 24.7 % (90 people) of the respondents had relatives or friends who were ill with coronavirus.

In addition, 0.6 % (2 people) do not communicate with their loved ones, so they do not have information about their health status. More than half of the respondents – 76.7 % (270 people) – noted that there are no patients with coronavirus among their relatives and friends. Therefore, most respondents – 44% (161 people) – believe that the coronavirus is an overblown problem. However, 37.5 % (132 people) are more serious about the pandemic, and 19.3 % (68 people) of students have not thought about it.

Further, it should be noted that 82.7% (291 people) of students indicated that the quarantine measures introduced affected their quality of life and daily activities. They began to value their personal space more, spend more time on distance learning, and lost the opportunity to play sports (Çalık, 2020). In addition, 13.9% (49 people) of young men and women live in the same regime. The current situation in the country associated with the spread of coronavirus infection has not affected their vital activity. A small part of the surveyed students – 3.4% (12 people) – noted that they did not think about it.

More than half of the surveyed students – 50.3% (177 people), noted that the introduced distance learning form during the period of self-isolation is reasonably satisfactory to them more than full-time. This is because students are at home together with their family members. There is no need to waste time and money on the trip to the university, or the opportunity to re-watch the recording of the webinar. However, they noted that they have to perform a large number of tasks. Also, 44.6% (157 people) of the surveyed students note an increase in the academic load in online learning conditions and attribute this to a large number of materials for self-training. At the same time, 58.2% (205 people) of respondents had more time to sleep.

The results obtained in the course of the sociological study allowed drawing the following logical and reasonable conclusions:

  • before the outbreak of the pandemic, most students did not experience anxiety about contracting various kinds of infection. However, now the infection causes a feeling of anxiety for their health and the health of their loved ones;
  • the outbreak of coronavirus infection in most students causes a feeling of anxiety for their health and the health of their loved ones. Most of them observe self-isolation measures, but they do not regularly monitor statistics of cases of coronavirus infection in the country and the world as a whole;
  • the quarantine measures introduced have affected the quality of life and daily activities of students. Although they are more satisfied with the distance learning form during the period of self-isolation;
  • the results of the study indicate the need to develop recommendations for reducing anxiety and fear during self-isolation, and a program of psychological and pedagogical support for students ‘ personal development during self-isolation.

Recommendations for Maintaining Mental Health

The crisis caused by the pandemic affects social relations in different ways. The latter are channels of social support, which are more important than ever during such periods. With all the current opportunities for virtual communication, physical proximity and the possibility of personal interaction are essential for developing and strengthening social ties (Barrow, 2019). Since personal communication and meetings have been reduced to a minimum due to social distancing measures, people likely focus on those relationships that are spatially close, most significant, or more established. In part, they can be found outside of the student society – in the family or within the already existing circle of friends.

The unique properties of a group environment can make belonging to it especially valuable for ensuring well-being and protection from depression. Considering that active membership in groups has a positive effect on mental health indicators, maintaining it during periods of unfavorable conditions often requires that people are provided with the support of those very social groups (Barrow, 2019). In several countries, student societies take an active role in maintaining a sense of belonging to such a group and managing weakened social ties. Student unions of most universities provide practical support to students and strengthen and increase the effectiveness of students’ communication with the administrative bodies of universities (Abid et al., 2021). Such associations, headed by students with a high level of positive social activity, try to attract others to participate in optional distance activities and create interest groups. Thus, reformat social ties, strengthen the feeling of students ‘ belonging to their social group and active participation in its life in general and individual segments in particular.

Maintaining the student’s motivation level largely depends on the correct selection and application of models for increasing personal motivation. It also affects the degree of an optimistic attitude to the near-term prospects. Optimism is an essential indicator of positive physical and psychological health and can ensure the performance of a protective function (Abid et al., 2021). Thus, to improve mental health, manage high activity, and form students’ personalities, it is necessary to develop a stable sense of belonging to the student community as a social group and an incomplete identification of themselves as to its component. Positive results can be achieved by creating an energetic organization. It can be based on a virtual communication platform, where more active and psychologically stable members provide regular support to those who need it. They can also initiate various team-based events and form interest groups that ensure their long-term stable existence.


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"Maintaining Mental Health for Teenagers in the Pandemic." PsychologyWriting, 14 Sept. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Maintaining Mental Health for Teenagers in the Pandemic'. 14 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Maintaining Mental Health for Teenagers in the Pandemic." September 14, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Maintaining Mental Health for Teenagers in the Pandemic." September 14, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Maintaining Mental Health for Teenagers in the Pandemic." September 14, 2023.