A study on psychological well-being of final year management students during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India

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This study aims to assess the anxiety, depression and stress level of students during COVID-19 outbreak. The online questionnaire surveyed 80 students from the 250 population of MBA in Western Odisha, India. Two steps analysis have been done using EXCEL and MAXQDA software. The data collected were inserted in EXCEL and were analyzed by descriptive statistics (frequency distribution, mean and standard deviation) for the DASS21 questionnaire. Content analysis for open ended questions was carried out with the help of MAXQDA Software. The inferential statistics suggests that the level of depression was as high as 43% among the students (Mean 8.7, SD 6.047073). The main reasons for depressions among students are mental tension, career and negative psychology (maximum hits ranging 80%) and also other factors such as economic downturn, financial issues, future life, social distress, satisfaction in life, and job offers revoked (hits ranging from 73-46% observed) as revealed by Content Analysis. The institutions should adopt an online method of psychosocial intervention to reduce the depression level of the students.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a pandemic associated with severe respiratory syndrome. It originated from Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) on 30th January 2020 showed concern for this disease and affirmed it as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and on 11th March 2020 accepted this as a pandemic. The ongoing pandemic COVID-19 has been announced by the World Health Organization as the sixth public health emergency of international concern.  In December 2019 in China  Coronavirus was first spotted. People suffering from Corona show symptoms of fever, dry coughing and breathlessness (Guan et al. 2020 and Holshue et al. 2020). Million cases of COVID-19 have been reported throughout the world resulting in more than 170,000 deaths. As the numbers of cases are increasing in different countries around the world, the anxiety symptoms are also rising among the communities.

Anxiety levels will definitely rise but the question is how to manage this stress before it becomes devastating. It is quite natural that people will go through great stress and bigger anxiety symptoms due to this pandemic. General public is frightened and there is fear among the mass relating to their health and wellbeing of their loved ones, economic downturn and uncertainty about the future. The media coverage is also feeding to the anxiety levels. Quarantine and social isolation can add to the stress and anxiety levels and may lead to increase one’s signs of depression.

Studies conducted on the impact of quarantine and social isolation after the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and 2014. Ebola outbreak has reported negative psychological effects on the mass including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. The stressors after long quarantine duration are mostly fears of infection, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma.

A comparative study by Wang et al. (2011) on undergraduate students who were quarantined with those not quarantined reported that there exists no significant difference between the two groups with respect to general mental health problems. Since the study only took the young students population perhaps the result reported came out to be such due to the fact that young people generally have less responsibilities than adults and therefore this conclusion cannot be generalised.

Rubin (2020) writes that the profits of compulsory mass quarantine need to be evaluated cautiously against the psychological costs. As far as possible, the use of quarantine and lockdown as measures to protect the public health should be reduced, as there are negative consequences associated with it.

Review of literature shows that the psychological shock of quarantine is extensive, considerable, and long-term in nature. Quarantine and lockdown of the general mass should be used in extreme conditions. On the other hand, the psychological outcomes of not using quarantine and lockdown and allowing the disease to infect the mass might be worse (Hull 2005). So it requires a judicious decision before implementing such measures weighing both the pros and cons because withdrawing liberty for the wider public good is often a debatable issue. If quarantine and lockdown is essential, steps should be taken to ensure that this is bearable for the mass.

Studies on the disaster mental health have reported on the results of traumatic and post-traumatic stress disorders on communities. Recently some studies have been conducted to extend the positive view on mental health (Herrman 2012; Wade et al. 2012). The approach is to bring people from illness to a normal state, and to make them powerful to achieve a positive level of mental health (Seligman 2011).

Epidemic outbreaks generate numerous challenges in bring back good health in between the beginning of an infection and healing. There exists a long-term internal suffering of families of those who have seen death in their family due to the disease and they demonstrate a mental “iceberg effect.” In the individual level, pandemic causes vulnerabilities, social stigma, distress, and isolation and the individuals may experience fear, anxiousness, numbness, and detachment. On a community level, the whole community can experience fear and isolation during and after an infectious disease pandemic. This has been seen during the 2009–2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Individuals of USA experienced confusion, anxiety, and increased risky behaviours like smoking, drinking, drug misuse, recklessness, and unsafe work practices because of a sense of uncertainty. There were concern about the availability of medicines, shortages of workforce, and strategies to lessen the problem (Pfefferbaum et al. 2012). Public health workers and their families too experience some of these mental health issues.

This new pandemic COVID-19 is causing anxiety because of its instantaneous nature of transmission, its mortality statistics, its overestimation by the infected, uncertainty about the future, the economic affects, the distrust of adequate prevention of the disease and necessary availability of heath care facilities. Anxiety affects the immune system and thus the risk of the virus infection increases. Public’s anxious reactions gives rise to public disruptive behaviors such as people rushing to stores, health care centers, medicine stores, and therefore health care service system gets affected (WHO 2020).

COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND STUDENT’S MENTAL WELL-BEING

During our literature review we have come across very little number of researches on the mental well- being of students during a pandemic. Desai (2020) write about the anxiety among the American students reports that for low-income students, the closer of the colleges because of COVID-19 is not a matter of rejoice, they said, “It’s been really chaotic”. The uncertainty of getting the degree is a matter of concern for many students. Colleges in US have sent all their students home for the rest of the year. Shutting down a campus is a setback in career for most of the students and they term this closure as a fire-alarm for their career. Students from reputed institutions like Harvard may be able to deal with the financial and academic fallout of a pandemic-triggered school shutdown, but many students elsewhere aren’t at all prepared to absorb the shock. Many students do not have reliable internet access for online classes. In India too, all the academic institutions have been closed down. In this present scenario, the anxiety among the students is rising. Due to coronavirus pandemic, students and faculty members are facing stress caused due to the disturbance in their personal and work lives. To cope up in such a public health crisis and to maintain sound mental health, both the students and the teachers are to rely on each other. In this study, we aim to assess the anxiety, depression and stress level of Indian students during COVID-19 outbreak and the reasons for such fear and anxiety.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Design and sampling

The study was an online survey conducted among the post graduate level final year students of management studies (MBA Students) conducted in Western Odisha, India. There were around 100 students in total enrolled in a premier central government institution in this part of the country. The students from this institution were chosen on the basis of their final campus placement for jobs and reliable internet availability at their home. Since the campuses are locked down the students are available in their home, convenient sampling was done on the basis of reliable internet access available to the students. 90 students were sent the questionnaire and out of them 83 responded. 3 responses were incomplete so they were not included. The sample size required with a margin of error 5% and confidence level 95% was 80. Thus, we calculated the results with 80 responses only.

Data collection tools

DASS21 questionnaire was applied to collect the data to assess the Depression, Anxiety and Stress level of the students. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 Items (DASS-21) is a set of three self-report scales designed to measure the emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress developed by Lovibond, S.H. & Lovibond, P.F. (1995). The questionnaire was obtained from the Manual for the Depression Anxiety & Stress Scales (2nd Ed.)Sydney: Psychology Foundation.  A set of eight open ended questions were also developed to find out the reasons for their Depression, Anxiety & Stress. The validity and reliability of the DASS21 questionnaire have been confirmed by national and international studies. The Cronbach’s alpha was also calculated using SPSS for three subscales which shows 0.740 for anxiety, 0.812 for depression and 0.785 for stress subscale. Thus, the Alpha coefficients for all the subscales (depression, anxiety and stress) are acceptable in the present research and there exists internal consistency of the subscales.

The DASS21 questionnaire which assessed autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situational anxiety and subjective experience of anxious impact was reported by the students. They were made aware of the prevailing situation due to Corona pandemic.

Secondly, the researchers also used eight open ended questions to collect the comprehensive views of students on the Covid 19 pandemic situations and how it had impacted on them during the lockdown.

The data collection process took 10 days (5th April 2020 to 15th April 2020). At the beginning of the online survey, a full explanation on the purpose of the study was intimated to the students and their consent to participate in the study was obtained. The questionnaire was designed using Google form and the students were shared a link created to take part in the survey. All the closed ended and open ended questions were fed into the forms for the survey purpose. Students were also requested to fill the survey questionnaires through a separate mail.

Data analysis method

We used two step analysis using Excel and MAXQDA software. The quantitative data collected were inserted in EXCEL and were analyzed by descriptive statistics (frequency distribution, mean and standard deviation) for the DASS21 questionnaire. The Content analysis for open ended questions was carried out with the help of MAXQDA Software. All the responses were first arranged in excel file in supporting format and imported in the software. The codification was done with the help of intuition and judgments. The various thematic and systematic codes were generated for the analysis purpose. Further, all the responses were retrieved into the segments using category wise survey responses. All the outputs were exported using excel file and interpretation was done.

DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Measurement (DASS Analysis)

Quantitative Analysis

From the Table I illustrated below, it is indicated that the depression level among students was normal (57%), Mild (23%), Moderate (14%) and Severe (6%). Besides, the analysis also indicates that the Anxiety level was noted as Normal (84%), Mild (6%) and Moderate (10%). The results also demonstrate that the Stress level was 89% normal and 11% mild among the students.  As shown in the table, it is observed that the depression level was recorded high (43% falls under the range of mild, moderate and severe) among students compared to anxiety and stress.

Table I: Level of Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Students
Depression Level among Students during Covid Pandemic   
Severe56%Mean8.7
Moderate1114%SD6.047073
Mild1823%  
Normal4657%  
N80100%  
Anxiety Level among Students during Covid Pandemic   
Severe00%Mean3.95
Moderate810%SD3.987004
Mild56%  
Normal6784%  
N80100%  
Stress Level among Students during Covid Pandemic   
Mild911%Mean7.525
Normal7189%SD4.701131
N00%  
Source: Developed for Research by Authors

 


Graph 1: The Graph showing the level of depression among students

Graph 2: The Graph showing the level of Anxiety among students
Graph 3: The Graph showing the level of Stress among students

CONTENT ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS RESPONSES

Qualitative Analysis

SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID 19) AND ITS IMPACT ON STUDENTS MENTAL STATUS

From the Content analysis of the responses collected from students, it is indicated that most of the students were feeling tensed and pressurised due to the adverse situation of COVID 19. The reasons behind the same were being observed as slowdown economy, career path, family problems, lockdown situation, home quarantine, losing of job, job crisis, pandemic environment in the country, spread of rumours etc. Please refer Table II. 

Table II: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact of students mental health
ResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
None 
Career growth in economic slowdownSlowdown, Career path
As of now am not facing anything like that 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
No mental pressure for any impact on me personally. I am just worried for the future consequences of this pandemic.  Like in job life,  economy of the country, impact on poor etc.Pandemic, Job
While thinking about the impact of COVID-19 on the less fortunate, driving millions back to poverty, I feel like I need to do something but I don’t know where to start, so I feel lost and a bit tensed. 
Losing jobJob
Worried about career progressionCareer path
Career growth in economic slowdownSlowdown, Career path
No idea 
Career growth in economic slowdownSlowdown, Career path
Just concerned about my campus job offer securityJob
No major tension 
Rumours, negative news/information, spread of incorrect information create the mental pressure 
Fear of job crisisJob
Spread of virus is very pandemic. Just to buy some necessary items also some time I get tensed and helping some people also makes me tensed.Pandemic
In this lockdown.. I want to go homeLockdown, Home
I want to leave 
Pandemic situation may result some lossesPandemic
Job LossJob
Fear of jobJob
None 
None 
None 
As of now am not facing anything like that 
Career growth in economic slowdownSlowdown, Career path
No idea 
In this lockdown.. I want to go homeLockdown, Home
Not facing any challenge 
No Opinion 
Career on stakeCareer path
No idea 
Career growth in economic slowdownSlowdown, Career path
None 
No idea 
Go home feelingHome
In this lockdown.. I want to go homeLockdown, Home
No idea 
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
In this lockdown.. I want to go homeLockdown, Home
No idea 
None 
As of now am not facing anything like that 
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
None 
In this lockdown.. I want to go homeLockdown, Home
In this lockdown.. I want to go homeLockdown, Home
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
None 
None 
None 
None 
None 
None 
None 
As of now am not facing anything like that 
None 
None 
None 
As of now am not facing anything like that 
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
None 
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
As of now am not facing anything like that 
None 
None 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
None 
None 
No idea 
it should not spread to my familyFamily
None 
As of now am not facing anything like that 

Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

STUDENTS CAREER AND OUTBREAK OF COVID 19

Most of the students were worried about their offers from companies. They were tensed because they were feeling insecured if they could be able to join the company and if yes, that may get affected due to economic slowdown. The common reasons of worries among students were job opportunities, delay in joining companies, coronavirus, and delay in start of career. Table III shows the results.

Table III: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact of students career
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP01No 
RESP02yes, less opportunity and more demandOpportunity
RESP03Not at all 
RESP04Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP05Covid 19 
RESP06Covid 19Covid
RESP07Yes. The company rescinded my job offer 
RESP08Yes. My final placement offer has been rescinded by the company due to Covid-19Covid
RESP09yes, less opportunity and more demandOpportunity
RESP10No danger now 
RESP11yes, less opportunity and more demandOpportunity
RESP12Because I am not sure when I ll be able to join and that too if my offer is not rescinded. And if it is rescind, then i ll have to start at a very low pay, making no sense of doing this mba after two years of workex 
RESP13Yes… Job offers may be revoked as companies are facing losses 
RESP14No, I am not feeling unsecured about my career. 
RESP15yes, fear of losing/not getting job in a depressing economy 
RESP16Yes, as many companies are revoking the offer letters 
RESP17No,  Opportunities  might get delayed due to COVID-19,but things may get back to normalCovid, Delay Career
RESP18No danger now 
RESP19Companies may withdraw job 
RESP20Companies may not take us 
RESP21Fear of jon loss 
RESP22No 
RESP23No 
RESP24No 
RESP25Not at all 
RESP26yes, less opportunity and more demandOpportunity
RESP27No danger now 
RESP28No,  Opportunities  might get delayed due to COVID-19,but things may get back to normalCovid, Delay Career
RESP29Not at all 
RESP30No issue 
RESP31Less market opportunityOpportunity
RESP32No danger now 
RESP33yes, less opportunity and more demandOpportunity
RESP34No 
RESP35No danger now 
RESP36Waiting for normal situation 
RESP37No,  Opportunities  might get delayed due to COVID-19,but things may get back to normalCovid, Delay Career
RESP38No danger now 
RESP39No 
RESP40Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP41No,  Opportunities  might get delayed due to COVID-19,but things may get back to normalCovid, Delay Career
RESP42No danger now 
RESP43No 
RESP44Not at all 
RESP45No 
RESP46Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP47No 
RESP48No,  Opportunities  might get delayed due to COVID-19,but things may get back to normalCovid, Delay Career
RESP49No,  Opportunities  might get delayed due to COVID-19,but things may get back to normalCovid, Delay Career
RESP50No 
RESP51Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP52No 
RESP53No 
RESP54No 
RESP55No 
RESP56No 
RESP57No 
RESP58No 
RESP59Not at all 
RESP60No 
RESP61No 
RESP62No 
RESP63Not at all 
RESP64No 
RESP65Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP66No 
RESP67Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP68No 
RESP69No 
RESP70Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP71Not at all 
RESP72No 
RESP73No 
RESP74Yes, as most of the joining are delayed and some offers are getting cancelledJoining, Delay Career
RESP75No 
RESP76No 
RESP77No danger now 
RESP78Joining lateJoining
RESP79No 
RESP80Not at all 
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

COVID 19 PANDEMIC AND FINANCIAL TROUBLE IN STUDENT’S LIFE

From the analysis, it is interpreted that most of the student’s issues were their timely joining in the company which may certainly impact their financial earnings. Further, it is also interpreted that they faced challenges in repaying their loan amounts to banks because of their uncertain financial conditions of job. Table IV depicts the reasons of their financial burdens.

Table IV: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact of financial matters
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP01Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP02Education loan repaymentsLoan repayment
RESP03Nope 
RESP04Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP05It may create.  As I told,  I may be earning lesser than what i should have because of sloe down of economies and markets.  Definitely, my financial conditions will be impacted.Earnings
RESP06Cannot say for sure but I have an educational loan which I intent to payoff as early as possible, this won’t be possible if I don’t have a job.Loan repayment
RESP07I don’t know 
RESP08Yes. Uncertainty about career might create monetary difficulties. 
RESP09Education loan repaymentsLoan repayment
RESP10May get some 
RESP11Education loan repaymentsLoan repayment
RESP12No as of now 
RESP13Maybe 
RESP14No. 
RESP15Not as of now. 
RESP16No 
RESP18many face problems 
RESP19As of now no 
RESP20No idea 
RESP21No 
RESP22Late appointment 
RESP23Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP24Late appointment 
RESP25Nope 
RESP26Education loan repaymentsLoan repayment
RESP27May get some 
RESP29Nope 
RESP30May get some 
RESP31Education loan repaymentsLoan repayment
RESP32May get some 
RESP33Education loan repaymentsLoan repayment
RESP34Late appointment 
RESP35May get some 
RESP38May get some 
RESP39Late appointment 
RESP40Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP42May get some 
RESP43Late appointment 
RESP44Nope 
RESP45Late appointment 
RESP46Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP47Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP50Late appointment 
RESP51Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP52Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP53Late appointment 
RESP54Late appointment 
RESP55Late appointment 
RESP56Late appointment 
RESP57Late appointment 
RESP58Late appointment 
RESP59Nope 
RESP60Late appointment 
RESP61Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP62Late appointment 
RESP63Nope 
RESP64Late appointment 
RESP65Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP66Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP67Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP68appointment 
RESP69No appointment 
RESP70Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP71Nope 
RESP72Late appointment 
RESP73Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP74Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP75Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP76Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP77May get some 
RESP78Yes, I have education loan and getting a good paying job would help me in getting the loan repayment startedLoan repayment
RESP79Yes. Late joining to new company.Joining
RESP80Nope 
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

COMPANIES LAYOFF JOBS, ECONOMIC DOWNTURN DUE TO COVID 19 AND STUDENT’S SITUATIONS

Due to the adverse impact of covid on economy, most of the companies are planning to lay off their employees for certain period of time. This has posed serious threats on the career of the students who may recently join the companies. From the study, it was found that students were in mental tension, anxiety and stress due to the reasons that they could be unemployed and economic downturn may result into job insecurity in future, their offers may be revoked, etc. Table V illustrates the same.

Table V: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact of economic downturn and jobs
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP01What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP02Sitting unemployed for a long time or getting settled where you don not want toUnemployment Situation
RESP03Very bad 
RESP04I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP05Insecurities due to uncertainty of job. I will think about lay off during working which may impact my work. 
RESP06It puts me under a lot of stress, I can’t think straight sometimes. 
RESP07Nothing 
RESP08Although I was yet to join the company, but my offer was rescinded. It must very difficult for people who have lost their existing jobs to cope with this as it is very important to have sufficient funds at a time like this.Offer revoked
RESP09Sitting unemployed for a long time or getting settled where you don not want toUnemployment Situation
RESP10May Get some 
RESP11Sitting unemployed for a long time or getting settled where you don not want toUnemployment Situation
RESP12I am not sure when I ll be able to join and that too if my offer is not rescinded. And if it is rescind, then i ll have to start at a very low pay, making no sense of doing this mba after two years of workexOffer revoked
RESP13Emotional and mental stress 
RESP14It creates a need of excelling at the work domain and focus on learning and being adaptive to situation. 
RESP15Financial insecurity. Fear of not being able to be financially independent. 
RESP16As iam a fresher getting job would be difficult again to get in to corporate office. 
RESP18Nothing 
RESP19Financial Issues may create 
RESP20Nothing 
RESP21Fear of not being able to be financially strong 
RESP22What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP23May not get offerOffer revoked
RESP24Offer revokedOffer revoked
RESP25Very bad 
RESP26Sitting unemployed for a long time or getting settled where you don not want toUnemployment Situation
RESP27May Get some 
RESP29Very bad 
RESP30May Get some 
RESP31Unemployment is the challenge 
RESP32May Get some 
RESP33Sitting unemployed for a long time or getting settled where you don not want toUnemployment Situation
RESP34What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP35May Get some 
RESP38May Get some 
RESP39What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP40I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP42May Get some 
RESP43What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP44Very bad 
RESP45What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP46I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP47What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP50What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP51I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP52What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP53I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP54What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP55No offer then issuesOffer revoked
RESP56What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP57Job 
RESP58Job 
RESP59Very bad 
RESP60offer is also revoked. ThenOffer revoked
RESP61Company may not give job 
RESP62What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP63Very bad 
RESP64What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP65I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP66What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP67I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP68What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP69What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP70I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP71Very bad 
RESP72What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP73What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP74I am in start of my career and this situation is really bad for us, as we are about to join the workforce 
RESP75Very bad situation 
RESP76Very bad situation 
RESP77May Get some 
RESP78May effect my early career s 
RESP79What if my offer is also revoked.Offer revoked
RESP80Very bad 
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

COVID 19 UNCERTAINTIES SURROUNDINGS AND PSYCHOSOCIAL EFFECTS ON STUDENTS SUCH AS STRESS, IRRITABILITY, FEAR, CONFUSION, ANGER, BOREDOM, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, INSOMNIA, ETC

It is interpreted from the responses that few students were suffering from insomnia, stress, boredom, anxiety and depression due to the prevailing situation of lockdown and pandemic. Some were neutral having no influence on them. Table VI shows the results.

Table VI: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact of psychological feelings of students
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP01No 
RESP02stress, fearStress
RESP03Not at all 
RESP04No 
RESP05No, I am stable currently until this point of time. 
RESP06Sometimes I feel anxious, I fear the uncertainty and I might be suffering from InsomniaInsomnia
RESP07Yes 
RESP08Yes. Confusion, boredom, anxiety.Anxiety, Boredom
RESP09stress, fearStress
RESP10NO 
RESP11stress, fearStress
RESP12A bit of stress and insomniaInsomnia, Stress
RESP13Yes.. AnxietyAnxiety
RESP14No, I’m not. 
RESP15Anxiety of what will happen to the job market.Anxiety
RESP16No 
RESP17Yes,sometime boredom and stress due to no jobs available in the marketBoredom, Stress
RESP18Monotony and boredomBoredom
RESP19Yes 
RESP20Yes 
RESP21Anxiety of what will happen to the job market.Anxiety
RESP22No 
RESP23No 
RESP24No 
RESP25Not at all 
RESP26stress, fearStress
RESP27NO 
RESP28Yes,sometime boredom and stress due to no jobs available in the marketBoredom, Stress
RESP29Not at all 
RESP30NO 
RESP31stress, fearStress
RESP32NO 
RESP33stress, fearStress
RESP34No 
RESP35NO 
RESP36StressStress
RESP37Yes,sometime boredom and stress due to no jobs available in the marketBoredom, Stress
RESP38NO 
RESP39No 
RESP40No 
RESP41Yes,sometime boredom and stress due to no jobs available in the marketBoredom, Stress
RESP42NO 
RESP43No 
RESP44Not at all 
RESP45No 
RESP46No 
RESP47No 
RESP48Yes,sometime boredom and stress due to no jobs available in the marketBoredom, Stress
RESP49Yes,sometime boredom and stress due to no jobs available in the marketBoredom, Stress
RESP50No 
RESP51No 
RESP52No 
RESP53No 
RESP54No 
RESP55No 
RESP56No 
RESP57No 
RESP58No 
RESP59Not at all 
RESP60No 
RESP61No 
RESP62No 
RESP63Not at all 
RESP64No 
RESP65No 
RESP66No 
RESP67No 
RESP68No 
RESP69No 
RESP70No 
RESP71Not at all 
RESP72No 
RESP73No 
RESP74No 
RESP75No 
RESP76No 
RESP77NO 
RESP78No 
RESP79No 
RESP80Not at all 
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

HOME CONFINEMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL/SOCIAL DISTRESS IN STUDENTS

Table VII indicated the impact of lockdown and home quarantine on students’ life. The study explored the main factors as family association during this turbulent time. The family was focused more. Students valued family more than jobs and career in the present situation.

Table VII: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact on social stress of students
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP02yes, but it may create new avenues and a new way of work and life style 
RESP03It won’t happen 
RESP04It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP05Personally, I don’t have much issues with this.  I am getting a lot of time for myself to introspect myself and plan my life forward.this time won’t comr again. 
RESP06I am not sure about psychological but definitely social distress 
RESP071 
RESP08It is important to discuss it with your loved ones. Also important to accept that the entire humanity is going through this. Accept it as a part of life and keep fighting. 
RESP09yes, but it may create new avenues and a new way of work and life style 
RESP10No 
RESP11yes, but it may create new avenues and a new way of work and life style 
RESP12If it continues for a longer time, then maybe Yes 
RESP13Yes it does 
RESP14Being aware about the situation and researching about mental health helps 
RESP15May result in anxiety due to uncertainty of the situation. 
RESP16Stay home and be tension free 
RESP18May arise anxiety and stress 
RESP19Stay home 
RESP20May be 
RESP21May result in Stress due to uncertainty 
RESP23No 
RESP24No 
RESP25It won’t happen 
RESP26yes, but it may create new avenues and a new way of work and life style 
RESP27No 
RESP29It won’t happen 
RESP30No 
RESP31Yes it does 
RESP32No 
RESP33yes, but it may create new avenues and a new way of work and life style 
RESP35No 
RESP38No 
RESP40It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP42No 
RESP44It won’t happen 
RESP46It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP51It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP59It won’t happen 
RESP63It won’t happen 
RESP65It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP67It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP70It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP71It won’t happen 
RESP74It may affect most of people but spending time with family and trying to get engage in your hibbies can helpFamily
RESP77No 
RESP78Family effectFamily
RESP80It won’t happen 
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

COVID 19 AND STUDENTS LIFE SATISFACTION

Table VIII indicates that most of the students were satisfied to the lower extent due to this pandemic of coronavirus. However, it is also pertinent to note that some were satisfied as of the present situation as they were waiting for normal conditions after the lockdown.

Table VIII: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact on students life 
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP03Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP04Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP057/10 . 
RESP06On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not satisfied at all and 10 being completely satisfied I would say 3.Satisfied
RESP07Not very satisfiedSatisfied
RESP08Not a lot. There has been a lack of motivation and lack of willingness to do things. 
RESP10No 
RESP126/10 because i am getting time to spend with my family Which we generally do not get that easily 
RESP13Not ver satisfiedSatisfied
RESP14I’m satisfied with the time I’m utilising to acquire new skills and being optimistic about futureSatisfied
RESP15Not at all. 
RESP1630% satisfied as I am getting time to work on my weaknessSatisfied
RESP18No motivation 
RESP19No statisfied 
RESP20Not very satisfiedSatisfied
RESP21No 
RESP23No 
RESP24No 
RESP25Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP27No 
RESP29Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP30No 
RESP32No 
RESP35No 
RESP38No 
RESP40Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP42No 
RESP44Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP46Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP51Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP53Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP59Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP63Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP65Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP67Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP70Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP71Well satisfiedSatisfied
RESP74Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP77No 
RESP78Somewhat satisfied but still want these days to end soonSatisfied
RESP80Well satisfiedSatisfied
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

MAJOR PROBLEMS OF COVID ON STUDENTS’ FUTURE LIFE

The major issues indicated by students were job packages, job related issues, financial crisis, uncertainty in job market and financial crisis in future time to come. Students were feeling insecured and inconsistent in terms of their personal development.  

Table IX: Theme: Covid 19 pandemic and its impact on students future life 
RespondentsResponsesMajor Factors Indicated
RESP02Difficult to assess now 
RESP03Not much 
RESP04Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP05Career wise it may slow down my growth rate. Apart from that, things will settle down with time gradually. 
RESP06Job uncertainty, financial insecurity, inconsistent personal developmentUncertainty, Financial Crisis
RESP07I don’t know 
RESP08The world is going to change because of Covid 19. Once we get through this, nothing is going to be the same. We humans as a whole will always have to be careful and prepared for uncertainties. 
RESP09Difficult to assess now 
RESP10No opinion 
RESP11Difficult to assess now 
RESP12Just the career and travelling 
RESP13Job uncertainty 
RESP14Limited access to the public places and limited travel. 
RESP15Financial uncertainty. Decrement in social skills.Uncertainty, Financial Crisis
RESP16We feel uncomfortable still in large gatherings 
RESP18Still wait and watch 
RESP19Feeling worried 
RESP20No opinion 
RESP21Financial uncertainty.Uncertainty, Financial Crisis
RESP23No 
RESP24No 
RESP25Not much 
RESP26Difficult to assess now 
RESP27No opinion 
RESP29Not much 
RESP30No opinion 
RESP31Difficult to assess now 
RESP32No opinion 
RESP33Difficult to assess now 
RESP35No opinion 
RESP38No opinion 
RESP40Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP42No opinion 
RESP44Not much 
RESP46Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP51Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP56Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP59Not much 
RESP63Not much 
RESP65Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP67Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP70Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP71Not much 
RESP74Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP77No opinion 
RESP78Jobs and package offered will be low due to pandemic and financial crisisPackage, Job related issued, Financial Crisis
RESP80Not much 
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software

MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS LIFE DURING COVID 19 AND LOCKDOWN

From the below Table X, it is indicated that Job Offers, Loan repayment, delay in career start, stress situation, financial crisis, joining in companies, family were major problems among students in Covid 19 pandemic. Besides, the table also shows that mental tension, career and negative psychology were the major factors to be emphasized upon among students issues and problems. (maximum hits ranging 80%). Further, the factors such as economic downturn, financial issues, future life, social distress,  satisfaction in life, and job offers revoked are also to be addressed (hits ranging from 73-46% observed).

Table X:  Level of Frequencies of factors affecting students Depression, Anxiety and Stress 
 Factors FrequencyPercentagePercentage (valid)
Mental status80100.00100.00
Career80100.00100.00
Psychological Effects80100.00100.00
Economic Downturn7391.2591.25
Financial Issues7391.2591.25
Future Life4758.7558.75
Social Distress4657.5057.50
Satisfaction in Life4151.2551.25
Offer revoked2531.2531.25
Satisfied2430.0030.00
Loan repayment1620.0020.00
Delay Career1417.5017.50
Stress1417.5017.50
Financial Crisis1316.2516.25
Joining1012.5012.50
Job related issued1012.5012.50
Package1012.5012.50
Family911.2511.25
Joining911.2511.25
Family911.2511.25
Covid810.0010.00
Boredom810.0010.00
Career path78.758.75
Home78.758.75
Lockdown67.507.50
Opportunity67.507.50
Job67.507.50
Unemployment Situation56.256.25
Slowdown56.256.25
Anxiety45.005.00
Pandemic33.753.75
Uncertainty33.753.75
Insomnia22.502.50
Earnings11.251.25
Source: Data Interpretation result output from MAXQDA Software
Graph 4: Students Responses Records during Covid 19 Pandemic

DISCUSSION 

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the level of anxiety, depression and stress among the MBA students during the outbreak of coronavirus. The findings of the present study indicate that approximately 43% students are in depressions, 16% of students have experienced anxiety and 11% stresses. The main reasons for depressions are due to mental tension, career issues and negative psychology (maximum hits upto 80% noted) and also other factors such as economic downturn, financial issues, future life, social distress, satisfaction in life, and job offers revoked (hits ranging from 73-46% were observed).  

Recently researchers Zandifar A., Badrfam R (2020), have emphasized on paying special attention to providing psychosocial care during COVID-19 prevalence and the findings of the present study also emphasizes on the necessity of the provision of such services by the institutions to the students by establishing a student online counselling committee comprising of the head of the institution, faculty members, sociologists and clinical psychologists.

A study by Wang et al. (2020) showed that more than a quarter of participants experienced moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, and women suffered from psychological distress and stress, anxiety, and depression.  The findings of the present study show that depression level is significantly high 43%, which may be due to concern about future and economic consequences. Students are the future active economic work force of the society and they are mostly affected by unemployment, inflation, and business closures due to such events.

Over flooding of news broadcast on COVID-19 is mostly disappointing and frustrating and sometimes rumours comes in social media, therefore when someone is constantly exposed to COVID-19 news, the level of anxiety goes higher. The hotline services are set up by government to offer COVID related services. The decision makers are mainly concerned with reducing the spread of the disease and also there exists a shortage of workforce for psycho-social counseling so we find that emphasis on mental wellbeing of the populace has taken the second bench. Low and middle income countries face difficulties in providing online mental health services due to lack of proper access to the disadvantaged classes and doubts the usefulness of online psychological interventions. This is due to the fact that a very few number of researches have been conducted to confirm these services (Yao et al. 2020)

Coronavirus infection does not differentiate between geography, ethnicity, religion and politics, therefore it is considered as a global issue and pandemic. Earlier research shows that people who regularly follow COVID-19 news experience more anxiety, depression and stress than who regularly do not follow the news. Mental health professionals, NGOs have major  role to educate the public about common adverse psychological consequences, promote healthy behaviours, advice people to lower their exposure to negative news, and to prevent social isolation, use alternative ways of communication such as virtual networks during the pandemic. (Banerjee 2020)

The study was conducted under the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances and during the lock down period in India, so self-quarantine was recommended as the safest way to stay healthy, therefore conducting online research was completely safe. An acceptable number of sample size participated in the study, so our findings can be considered highly valid. The less number of questions in the questionnaire was a motivational factor for which the respondents were more willing to answer the questions. The answers are self-reporting and the survey was conducted without a control group and above all the study has been carried out in a very small geographical part of India therefore the results cannot be generalized. 

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