Academic Stress, Psychological Distress, Coping and Self-Efficacy among Undergraduate University Students during COVID 19

Asma Abid

Institute of Professional Psychology, Bahria University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Sheeba Farhan

Assistant Professor, Institute of Professional Psychology, Bahria University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Tooba Atif

PhD Scholar, Department of Public Administration, University of Karachi, Pakistan.


Keywords: Academic stress, Psychological distress, Coping, Self-efficacy, COVID 19, Undergraduate University students.


Academic stress is the most common emotional or mental state that students experience during their studies. Stress is a result of a wide range of issues, including test and exam burden, a demanding course, a different educational system, and thinking about future plans upon graduation. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between academic stress, psychological distress, coping and self-efficacy among undergraduate university students during COVID 19. The sample of the research was 302 undergraduate students (males=95 and females=207) with the age ranges 18 years to 25 years (M=1.41, SD=0.46), from the city of Karachi. Purposive Convenient sampling technique was used. All the participants were provided with the link of Google forms which comprised of the following measures: consent form, demographic form, Perception of Academic Stress Scale (Bedewy & Gabriel, 2015), Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (Kessler & Mroczek, 1992) , coping scale (Hamby, Grych, & Banyard, 2015) and General self-efficacy scale (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995) were used. For the statistical analysis SPSS version 22 was used. The analysis revealed that there is a significant predictive relationship of Academic Stress with Psychological Distress (R2 = .039, F = 12.18, P<.05), whereas significant negative relationship of academic stress with coping and self-efficacy is found (p<0.01). Moreover, significant positive relationship is found between psychological distress and coping and significant negative relationship is found between psychological distress and self-efficacy (p<0.01). Also, significant gender difference is found in the scores of academic stress and psychological distress (p<0.05). This study will help researchers, faculty and psychologist to increase their awareness of sources of academic stress among students, their coping and level of psychological distress and to develop an intervention plan to reduce academic stress and psychological distress among students.


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