Background. The undergraduate community is composed of Generation Z members who constitute a social generation of digital natives who are technologically skilled. Their widespread exposure to technology accounts for their comfort with and strong knowledge of digital media. The government adoption of e-learning in academic education during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may be beneficial to such digitally skilled individuals. Some studies have underscored the e-learning adoption adverse psychological impact on the mental health of the younger generation. In fact, the findings underscore an increase in psychological distress, excessive fear of infection, pervasive anxiety, frustration and boredom, a high level of stress, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. We aimed to detect the protective factor for academic community during social restriction for pandemic in 2nd Italian lockdown analysing the adaptive behaviour of undergraduate in 3 field panels of academic education (life sciences, physical and engineer sciences, human and social sciences). We aimed to determine the psychological impact of prolonged e-learning on emotional regulation among undergraduate students. A secondary objective was to identify key components for preventive interventions targeted toward the academic community by investigating the buffering effect of e-learning in academic education on exposure to the pandemic. Methods. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted on 570 university students (aged 18–26 years) pursing degrees in life sciences, physical and engineering sciences, and social sciences in Italy. They were recruited using snowball sampling. We administered emotional (PDEQ, CSSQ, CAS), personality traits (BFI-10) and affinity for e-learning (AEQ) measures. Results. Our findings suggest that a majority of the university students developed peritraumatic dissociative experience and stress, but not dysfunctional coronavirus anxiety during the 2nd COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Nevertheless, the present findings also highlight the fragility of younger Gen Z undergraduate students who are beginning their academic journey amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, coronavirus distress significantly predicted mental health through the mediating effect of personality traits and e-learning affinity. Conclusions. Therefore, health care professionals are encouraged to implement psychological support interventions that strengthen one’s ability to manage stressful situations and reinforce their status as a digital native. Consequently, they may realize the power of their personal strengths, which in turn may mitigate their stress and peritraumatic dissociative experience when they deal with challenges, enhance their competence, and enable them to adopt effective coping strategies.

BUFFERING EFFECT FOR 2ND COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC E-LEARNING ADOPTION AMONG GENERATION Z

Ranieri, Jessica;Guerra, Federica;Di Giacomo, Dina
2021

Abstract

Background. The undergraduate community is composed of Generation Z members who constitute a social generation of digital natives who are technologically skilled. Their widespread exposure to technology accounts for their comfort with and strong knowledge of digital media. The government adoption of e-learning in academic education during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may be beneficial to such digitally skilled individuals. Some studies have underscored the e-learning adoption adverse psychological impact on the mental health of the younger generation. In fact, the findings underscore an increase in psychological distress, excessive fear of infection, pervasive anxiety, frustration and boredom, a high level of stress, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. We aimed to detect the protective factor for academic community during social restriction for pandemic in 2nd Italian lockdown analysing the adaptive behaviour of undergraduate in 3 field panels of academic education (life sciences, physical and engineer sciences, human and social sciences). We aimed to determine the psychological impact of prolonged e-learning on emotional regulation among undergraduate students. A secondary objective was to identify key components for preventive interventions targeted toward the academic community by investigating the buffering effect of e-learning in academic education on exposure to the pandemic. Methods. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted on 570 university students (aged 18–26 years) pursing degrees in life sciences, physical and engineering sciences, and social sciences in Italy. They were recruited using snowball sampling. We administered emotional (PDEQ, CSSQ, CAS), personality traits (BFI-10) and affinity for e-learning (AEQ) measures. Results. Our findings suggest that a majority of the university students developed peritraumatic dissociative experience and stress, but not dysfunctional coronavirus anxiety during the 2nd COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Nevertheless, the present findings also highlight the fragility of younger Gen Z undergraduate students who are beginning their academic journey amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, coronavirus distress significantly predicted mental health through the mediating effect of personality traits and e-learning affinity. Conclusions. Therefore, health care professionals are encouraged to implement psychological support interventions that strengthen one’s ability to manage stressful situations and reinforce their status as a digital native. Consequently, they may realize the power of their personal strengths, which in turn may mitigate their stress and peritraumatic dissociative experience when they deal with challenges, enhance their competence, and enable them to adopt effective coping strategies.
9789895481552
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2021inpactJessica Ranieri.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 451.13 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
451.13 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/166208
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact