Severity of Anxiety due to the COVID-19 Pandemic among the Students of Africa International University, Karen
This study investigated the severity of anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic among students studying at the Africa International University, Karen, Nairobi County, Kenya. The study was done within a period of three months. The study was guided by the Ecological Systems theory and the Social Cognitive Theory. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. Participant’s answers were compared to certain variables including prevalence of preventive hygiene measures, depression, severity of anxiety and prevalence of avoidance behavior. A working sample size of 123 was picked from a target population of 1134 students from the Africa International University. Stratified Random Sampling was used to get a sample of 123 students. A structured questionnaire with an internal consistence reliability of α=0.858 was used to collect data from the respondents. In addition to this, the researcher used the Becks Depression Inventory-II and the Beck’s Anxiety Inventory to find out the severity of depression and anxiety respectively. The information obtained was analyzed using SPSS version 23 and information obtained was presented using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study found out that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the psychological well-being of college students. More than 60% of the students incorporated behavior changes and adhered to the government directives on preventive hygiene measures (p=0.000). It was also found out that the students suffered from depression 20.10 ± 0.975SD. 28.9% and 23.7% of the students suffered from moderate and severe depression respectively. The student also suffered from anxiety 15.85 ± 0.491SD, p=0.000. A quarter of the students had concerning high levels of anxiety. Avoidance behavior was also prevalent at 12.09 ± 3.909SD. It was alarming that 50% of the students thought of quitting or deferring their studies due to the COVID-19 pandemic ((r = 0.230, p-value = 0.014). The study recommends the introduction of psychoeducation programs to educate the students on how to cope with the COVID-19 pandemics and other pandemics that might occur, initiation of accessible and affordable counselling services for students, training on developing resilience, a concerted effort between the colleges and government to educate students on how to cope with pandemics and that the government should put measures to mitigate the spread of fake news from social media and educate people on where to obtain reliable information.
Key words: Anxiety, COVID-19, Students
Balkhi F, Nasir A, Zehra A, Riaz R. (2020) Psychological and Behavioral Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic May 02. Cureus 12(5): e7923. DOI 10.7759/cureus.7923
Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of child development. Vol.6. Six theories of child development (pp. 1-60). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Berk, L.E. (2000). Child Development (5th ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 23-38.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of Child Development. Vol. 6, 187-249.
Bronfenbrenner, U.(1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Dubey, S., Biswas P, Ghosh, R, Chatterjee, S, Dubey, M, Lahiri, D., Lavivie, C,(2020) Psychosocial impact of COVID-19 Clinical Research and Review 14
GOK (2020) Mental Health and Well-Being Towards Happiness and National Prosperity July 2020. A report by the Taskforce on Mental Health in Kenya
Haider II, Tiwana F, Tahir SM. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adult Mental Health. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(COVID19-S4) doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.COVID19-S4.2756
Huremović D, ed (2020). Psychiatry of Pandemics: a Mental Health Response to Infection Outbreak: Springer International Publishing 2019; 185 pages; ISBN978-3-030-15346-5 (e-book), ISBN978-3-030-15345-8 (softcover). Croatian Medical Journal, 61(3), 306. https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2020.61.306
Infotrack Research and Consulting (2020) Coronavirus Poll https/: Infotrack-Research-Consulting-Ltd-148527735197264
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.(2019) Kenya Population and Housing Census Vol. 4. Available at: https://www.knbs.or.ke
Lau, J.T., Griffiths, S., Choi, K.C.(2010). Avoidance behaviors and negative psychological responses in the general population in the initial stage of the H1N1 pandemic in Hong Kong. BMC Infect Dis 10, 139 https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-10-139
Lewinsohn, P. M. (1974). A behavioral approach to depression. In R. J Firedman & M,M Katz(eds) The Psychology of Depression; Contemporary theory and research John Wiley & Sons,
Mensah, I. (2020) Unpacking The Impacts Of COVID-19 On Tourism And Repackaging The Hotel Service in Hospitalitynet 13,May https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4098657
Ministry of Health (2020) https://www.health.go.ke/#1585342031501-da1a4db3-06e7
Mwiti, G.(2020) Mental strain from coronavirus might weaken national cohesion. Daily Nation Monday June 08 2020.
OECD (2020) Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19): COVID-19 and the aviation industry: Impact and policy responses 15 October http://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/covid-19-and-the-aviation-industry-impact-and-policy-responses-26d521c1/
Rajput, H., Changotra, R., Rajput, P.(2020) A shock like no other: coronavirus rattles commodity markets. Environ Dev Sustain https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00934-4
Salari, N., Hosseinian-Far, A., Jalali, R.(2020) Prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Global Health 16, 57 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-020-00589-w
Shaban, A.R.A (2020) Africanews: Kenya coronavirus: Updates from March - April from https://www.africanews.com/2020/05/10/enforcement-of-coronavirus-lockdown-turns-violent-in-parts-of-africa//
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). (2018). Education stats database. Retrieved from http:/uis.unesco.org
Were, M. (2020) COVID-19 and socioeconomic impact in Africa: The case of Kenya https://doi.org/10.35188/UNU-WIDER/WBN/2020-3 United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research
WHO (2020) COVID 19 Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC): Global research and innovation forum: towards a research roadmap 12 February https://who.int/publications/m/item/covid-19-public-health-emergency-of-international-concern-(pheic)-global-research-and-innovation-forum
WHO (2020) WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard https://covid19.who.int/
WHO Statement on the fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) 1 August 2020
WHO What is a Pandemic? Emergencies Preparedness, response 24 February 2010
Yusuf, M (2020), Kenya Mental Health Cases Jump During Pandemic, in VOA News 27th July. https://www.voanews.com/episode/kenya-mental-health-cases-jump-during-pandemic-4369136