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Background

Mental health problems, especially anxiety and depression, during the pandemic caused by Omicron variant have aroused a great concern. The drastic change in daily routine leads to a higher level of life stress. Since postgraduate students usually have worse mental health problems, they could be vulnerable to life stress. Social support would be a protective factor against depression and anxiety, and might play a moderating role between life stress and these mental health indices.

Aims

This study is to explore the relationship between life stress and mental health, and how social support alleviates such relationship.

Methods

A set of online questionnaires, including (1) items of 11 points visual analog scale (VAS) to measure postgraduate students' current life stress and social support, (2) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), (3) Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), was handed out to postgraduate students from several universities in Shanghai. Data of 110 postgraduate students were collected and analyzed. Pearson correlations and mediate effect tests were conducted to verify the potential relationship.

Results

(1) Life stress was positively correlated with the level of anxiety and depression. Social support was negatively correlated with life stress and the level of anxiety and depression. (2) The interaction between social support level and life stress played a significant role in predicting anxiety level (β = –0.020, p = 0.044). The interaction between social support level and life stress also predicted the level of depression (β = –0.025, p = 0.009).

Conclusions

High-level social support had effectively mitigated the steep slope between the restrained life stress and mental health, which indicated that more available social support would be promising to alleviate the risk of anxiety and depression during the static management period.


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High-level social support alleviates the negative effect of life stress on postgraduate students' mental health during campus enclosed management of the COVID-19 Omicron pandemic

Show Author's information Yuanyuan Yin1,§Xinyu Cheng2,§Ziqi Liu2,§Jianyin Qiu3( )Ti-Fei Yuan2( )
Wenzhou Medical University School of Psychiatry, Wenzhou 325035, China
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

§ Yuanyuan Yin, Xinyu Cheng, and Ziqi Liu contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Background

Mental health problems, especially anxiety and depression, during the pandemic caused by Omicron variant have aroused a great concern. The drastic change in daily routine leads to a higher level of life stress. Since postgraduate students usually have worse mental health problems, they could be vulnerable to life stress. Social support would be a protective factor against depression and anxiety, and might play a moderating role between life stress and these mental health indices.

Aims

This study is to explore the relationship between life stress and mental health, and how social support alleviates such relationship.

Methods

A set of online questionnaires, including (1) items of 11 points visual analog scale (VAS) to measure postgraduate students' current life stress and social support, (2) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), (3) Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), was handed out to postgraduate students from several universities in Shanghai. Data of 110 postgraduate students were collected and analyzed. Pearson correlations and mediate effect tests were conducted to verify the potential relationship.

Results

(1) Life stress was positively correlated with the level of anxiety and depression. Social support was negatively correlated with life stress and the level of anxiety and depression. (2) The interaction between social support level and life stress played a significant role in predicting anxiety level (β = –0.020, p = 0.044). The interaction between social support level and life stress also predicted the level of depression (β = –0.025, p = 0.009).

Conclusions

High-level social support had effectively mitigated the steep slope between the restrained life stress and mental health, which indicated that more available social support would be promising to alleviate the risk of anxiety and depression during the static management period.

Keywords:

anxiety, depression, life stress, social support, corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), static management
Received: 28 July 2022 Accepted: 17 October 2022 Published: 22 November 2022
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Publication history

Received: 28 July 2022
Accepted: 17 October 2022
Published: 22 November 2022

Copyright

© The Author(s) 2022

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Huiting Cai and Di Zhao for their help in designing the experiment.

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Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributtion-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission.

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