Differential Impact of Protective Psychological Factors on Psychopathology and Satisfaction with Online Teaching in University and Psychotherapy Schools Students During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Roberto Truzoli, Gessica Pistis, Stella Conte


Background: In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a lockdown in several countries all around the world. In Italy a decret-law on March 9, 2020 lockdown was extended to schools and Universities. This situation caused symptoms such as: anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and somatization. In these conditions, loneliness likely exacerbated symptoms of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, changes due to online teaching, managing relationship with professor could affect well-being and mood. This research aims to verify how a low level of depression, high self-esteem, internal Locus of Control and high self-efficacy are predictors of well-being and allowing a good management of the critical situation due to the pandemic.

Methods: This study has been carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. The experimental subjects were psychology students and postgraduates in psychotherapy. Tests were administered measuring: personality traits, self-esteem, self-efficacy, perceived social support, depression, internal addiction.

Results: Both experimental groups showed difficulties in socialization and in motivational support and the students showed higher anxiety and depression with respect to postgraduates. Furthermore, a correlation between depression, anxiety and stress was observed. Also, stress proved to be a cross-cutting factor in conditions of anxiety and low mood, while depression and anxiety were correlated. Additionally, high self-efficacy is related to low score of stress, anxiety and depression, such as internal Locus of Control. Last, internet addiction is in relationship with low perceived social support and low capacity of handling the situation.

Conclusions: Internal Locus of Control is crucial to handle anxiety, depression and internet addiction and a high level of self-esteem, self-efficacy and perceived social support are protective factors for anxiety and depression.


Protective factors; Online teaching; Students; COVID-19 Pandemic; Clinical Psychology.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13129/2282-1619/mjcp-3695


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