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Psychological Impact of COVID-19 and Lockdown among University Students in Malaysia: Implications and Policy Recommendations

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Department of Accounting, Prince Sultan University, P.O. Box 66833, Riyadh 11586, Saudi Arabia
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School of Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Taylor’s University, No. 1, Jalan Taylors, Subang Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia
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Deanship of Educational Services, Prince Sultan University, P.O. Box 66833, Riyadh 11586, Saudi Arabia
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College of Business Administration, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT), 4 Embankment Drive Road, Sector-10, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka 1230, Bangladesh
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176206
Received: 14 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 16 August 2020 / Published: 27 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown has taken the world by storm. This study examines its impact on the anxiety level of university students in Malaysia during the peak of the crisis and the pertinent characteristics affecting their anxiety. A cross-sectional online survey, using Zung’s self-rating anxiety questionnaire was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Out of the 983 respondents, 20.4%, 6.6%, and 2.8% experienced minimal to moderate, marked to severe, and most extreme levels of anxiety. Female gender (OR = 21.456, 95% CI = 1.061, 1.998, p = 0.020), age below 18 years (OR = 4.147, 95% CI = 1.331, 12.918, p = 0.014), age 19 to 25 (OR = 3.398, 95% CI = 1.431, 8.066, p = 0.006), pre-university level of education (OR = 2.882, 95% CI = 1.212, 6.854, p = 0.017), management studies (OR = 2.278, 95% CI = 1.526, 3.399, p < 0.001), and staying alone (OR = 2.208, 95% CI = 1.127, 4.325, p = 0.021) were significantly associated with higher levels of anxiety. The main stressors include financial constraints, remote online teaching and uncertainty about the future with regard to academics and career. Stressors are predominantly financial constraints, remote online learning, and uncertainty related to their academic performance, and future career prospects. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; anxiety; social psychology; university students; Zung’s self-rating anxiety scale (SAS); Malaysia COVID-19; anxiety; social psychology; university students; Zung’s self-rating anxiety scale (SAS); Malaysia
MDPI and ACS Style

Sundarasen, S.; Chinna, K.; Kamaludin, K.; Nurunnabi, M.; Baloch, G.M.; Khoshaim, H.B.; Hossain, S.F.A.; Sukayt, A. Psychological Impact of COVID-19 and Lockdown among University Students in Malaysia: Implications and Policy Recommendations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6206. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176206

AMA Style

Sundarasen S, Chinna K, Kamaludin K, Nurunnabi M, Baloch GM, Khoshaim HB, Hossain SFA, Sukayt A. Psychological Impact of COVID-19 and Lockdown among University Students in Malaysia: Implications and Policy Recommendations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6206. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176206

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sundarasen, Sheela, Karuthan Chinna, Kamilah Kamaludin, Mohammad Nurunnabi, Gul Mohammad Baloch, Heba Bakr Khoshaim, Syed Far Abid Hossain, and Areej Sukayt. 2020. "Psychological Impact of COVID-19 and Lockdown among University Students in Malaysia: Implications and Policy Recommendations" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 17: 6206. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176206

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