Exploring College Students’ Biopsychosocial Spiritual Wellbeing and Problems during COVID‑19 through a Contextual and Comprehensive Framework
Musılı, Phelista Marura
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College students in Kenya have experienced many mental health issues, and there is little well-grounded research on this topic. Therefore, in this current study, we aimed to explore college students’ biopsychosocial spiritual wellbeing and problems from an Ecological Systems Theory (EST) perspective. Due to lack of previous well-grounded mental health research and services, we collaborated with the college students from the beginning of the study and acted with them to shape the research. Based on all these, we called our theoretical framework for this current paper as exploring college students’ biopsychosocial spiritual wellbeing and problems from the EST perspective. We examined college students’ (N = 518) mental health experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through six items to measure psychosomatic problems (sadness, anxiety, frustration, stress, loneliness, and withdrawal) and their coping mechanisms (talking to family/friends, physical exercise, social media, reading books, hobbies, spiritual activities, alcohol/drugs, COVID-19 information). Gender and age explained a trivial amount of variance, about 1%, in psychosomatic problems in model one. With the inclusion of the coping strategies and demographic factors (age and gender), the second model explained 24% of the variance in psychosomatic problems. In the second model, the highest effect size originated from talking to family/friends and use of social media. In addition, change in sleeping patterns, sadness, anxiety, and frustration were reported with one in three reporting “poor” or “fair” mental health. In light of the larger COVID-19 and college students’ mental health literature, we discussed the present findings and provided recommendations.