What Type of Social Support Is Important for Student Resilience During COVID-19? A Latent Profile Analysis

Yingping Mai, Yenchun Jim Wu*, Yanni Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the face of the sudden outbreak of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), some students showed resilience in coping with difficulties while some did not. While different types of students showed different levels of resilience, are there significant characteristics among students with similar levels of resilience? In this study, 3,454 students (aged 15–25 years) were surveyed to understand students' perceived social support-coping modes while investigating the demographic characteristics and mental health status of subclasses of different modes. We found that (1) in the two subgroups of students with extremely low and low levels of perceived social support, the source of students' perceived social support did not have a clear orientation; in the two subgroups with moderate and high levels of perceived social support, the most perceived emotional support was from family and friends, while the least perceived support was companionship from teachers, classmates, and relatives, and problems related to the dependability of friends and communication with family. (2) The degree of social support perceived by students is directly proportional to the coping tendency, i.e., as the degree of perceived social support increases, the proportion of students adopting active coping strategies increases while that of students adopting negative coping strategies decreases; thus, we concluded that high levels of emotional support from family and friends can increase students' tendency of adopting positive strategies to cope with difficulties, while problems related to the dependability of friends and communication with family decrease students' tendency of adopting positive coping strategies. (3) Gender had a significant impact on the extremely low and low levels of perceived social support-negative coping tendencies; these subgroups accounted for 34.6% of the total students. Gender showed no significant influence on other subgroups, a school type had no impact on the distribution of the subgroups. (4) The higher the degree of perceived social support, the lower is the degree of students' general anxiety, and the lower is the degree of impact by the COVID-19 pandemic. The subdivision of student groups allows us to design more targeted support programmes for students with different psychological characteristics to help them alleviate stress during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number646145
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 22

Keywords

  • coping style
  • latent profile analysis
  • mental health
  • social support
  • student resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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