3.1 Basic information
The students who participated in the questionnaire were mainly sophomores (49.04%), followed by juniors (18.15%). The major disciplines represented were science and engineering, accounting for 43.18%, followed by medicine (33.82%), and literature and history (23.00%). The source distribution of the survey objects was relatively balanced, with similar proportions of students from rural areas, towns and cities. The demographics are shown in Table 1.
3.2 Negative emotions during COVID-19
In response to the question of ‘From the most serious period to the basic control stage to the local epidemic stage, how has your attitude to the epidemic changed?’, 64.83% of university students said that their attitude ‘has become more positive’, 31.45% said that their attitude ‘has not changed’, and 3.72% said that their attitude ‘has become more negative’. In response to the question ‘Has your mental health been affected by the epidemic?’, 81.85% of university students said that their mental state has not been affected by the epidemic. Among the 18.15% of university students who said that their mental state had been affected by the epidemic, 52.8% identified feelings of fear and helplessness. These responses are shown in Figure S1.
3.3 Effect of gender on stress in university students
In response to the statement ‘In the last two months, I have been feeling anxious or more stressed than before’, for males ‘significantly reduced’ accounted for 3.46% of responses, ‘slightly reduced’ and ‘unchanged’ for 5.43% and58.66%, respectively, and ‘slightly increased’ and ‘significantly increased’ for 26.62% and 5.84%, respectively. For females, ‘significantly decreased’ and ‘slightly decreased’ accounted for 1.88% and 4.71%, respectively, and ‘no change’, ‘slightly increased’ and ‘significantly increased’ accounted for 52.94%, 35.29% and 5.18%, respectively. The frequency of feeling stressed was higher in females than in males (Z =-2.34, P=0.17). These results are shown in Table S1.
In response to the question ‘Which of the following is your state of mind in the context of recurrent outbreaks?’, 3.25% of males and 5.18% or females selected ‘I feel more anxious and panic, fearing another large-scale outbreak’, whereas55.19% of males and 65.18% of females selected ‘I have some concerns, but not panic’. The frequency of panic and helplessness for females was higher than for males (P= 0.02). These results are shown in Table S2.
3.4 Effect of college yearon stress in university students
In response to the question ‘How many times have I felt anxious or stressed in the last two months?’, a slight increase was reported as follows: freshmen, 12.00%; sophomores, 29.66%; juniors, 30.43%; seniors, 44.00%; fifth year, 42.42%;and postgraduates,28.04%. A significant increase was reported as follows: freshmen, 6.00%; sophomores, 4.83%; juniors, 4.35%; seniors, 9.00%; fifth year, 9.09%; and postgraduates,5.61%. Therefore, after the outbreak, students in the later years were more likely to feel stress and anxiety than the students in the lower grades (H = 25.654, P = 0.00). These results are shown in Table S3 and S4 and Figure S2.
3.5 Effect of major on restlessness and depression in university students
In response to the statement, ‘In the last two months, I have often felt restless, insecure and depressed’, 2.94% of students in literature and history indicated that they ‘agree’ and 28.43%said that they ‘somewhat agree’; in science and engineering the proportion who agreed and somewhat agreed were3.92% and 16.45%, respectively; and in medicine, these proportions were 1.67% and 17.33%, respectively. The percentage of students majoring in literature and history was lower than that of students majoring in science and engineering. Overall, students majoring in literature and history were more likely to be restless and depressed than those majoring in science and medicine (H = 6.60, P = 0.04; Table S5).
3.6 Effect of satisfaction with family relationships on the sleep of university students duringCOVID-19
During the epidemic, the effect of students’ relationship with their parents on their sleep was explored.52.96% of the students were ‘very dissatisfied’, 54.37% were ‘barely satisfied’, 83.56% were ‘satisfied’ and 78.25% were ‘very satisfied’ with their family relationships. Students who were dissatisfied with their family relationships were more likely to have poor sleep and stay up late than those who were satisfied with their family relationships (r = 67.30, P = 0.00; Table S6).
3.7 Effect of satisfaction with family relationships during the outbreak on the psychological status of university students after the outbreak
Students who were less satisfied with their family relationships during the outbreak were more likely to be affected by the outbreak (r =18.61, P =0.00) than students who were satisfied with their family relationships during the outbreak (Table S7).
3.8Impact of family involvement in outbreak control and prevention on university students’mental health status
University students who had family members involved in the control and prevention efforts were less likely to be affected by the outbreak (r =13.09, P= 0.00l; Table S8).
3.9Frequency of home exercises on university students’ psychological status
Students who reported a high frequency of home exercise (more than three times a week and mostly daily adherence to exercises) were less vulnerable to mental health conditions compared to those who exercised less frequently (basically no exercise, one to two times a week) (r = 8.454, P = 0.04).These results are shown in Table S9.
3.10 Impact of level of concern about the state of the epidemic on university students’ sleep status
The proportion of students with better napping and sleeping quality were 81.87% and 77.40% for those with ‘great concern’ and ‘comparative concern’ about the outbreak development status, respectively, and 64.62% and 50.00%, respectively, for those with ‘little concern’ and ‘no concern’ about the outbreak development status. The results of the survey showed that students who were more concerned about the latest status of the outbreak were more likely to experience disturbance in their napping and sleep quality than those who were less concerned about the latest status of the outbreak (r = 32.93, P = 0.01; Table S10).
3.11Strategiesemployed byuniversity students in the presence of negative emotions such as irritability
Of the coping strategies identified by university students, the highest percentage expressed their willingness to ‘talk to peers or friends’(64.26%), followed by ‘seek help from elders such as parents and teachers’ (17.81%), ‘talk to strangers through apps such as bar and Weibo’ (6.99%) and ‘call a support line or consult a psychologist for help’ (2.71%). In the other 8.23% of students, ‘self deconstruction’ and ‘perceiving that these emotions will not have a negative affect’ made up the greatest proportion. These results are shown in Figure S3.