University of Macedonia (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 8206-8212
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.1942
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
The pandemic due to COVID-19 has led to a profound change in the daily life as well as in the emotional life of all. Today we are experiencing the psychological affects since the physical distancing has affected the mental health. For “young adults”, that is for people in the age range between 19-24, the impact of pandemic may be of greater importance, given that this early years of adulthood is a critical step stone for their further social and emotional development.

The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of the pandemic on the emotional life and discuss the implications on the transition to adult life. In this context, a quantitative research has been conducted based on a questionnaire, that has been designed by the research team. The questionnaire included 37 questions (likert, open ended, and multiple choice). The study was conducted via internet and in total 285 young individuals have participated.

The participants have been divided in groups based on:
(a) the year entered the University [subgroups: before pandemic students, (BPS) and first year students in pandemic (FYSP)],
(b) living conditions [subgroups: special living conditions (SLC) that is a group who have a disability or live with a person with disability or more generally live with a vulnerable person and no special living conditions (NSLC) that is a group who have no disability and neither live with a vulnerable person or a person with a disability]
(c) on the non-existence of social contact (subgroups: with family [CF], with friends [CS] and with family and friends [CFS]).

The collected data were encoded and analysed through the statistical package of SPSS 22.0, frequencies and percentages were calculated for the questionnaire items and analysis of variance and t-tests were computed to check the differences between the groups. The research was approved by the Committee for Research Ethics of the University of Macedonia. Concerning the emotions young adults felt during and after lockdown it was found that one of the most important emotions the participants felt during lockdown, according to their answers, is fear for the future and fear for their beloved ones. After the lockdown the fear of the future and the fear for the beloved ones seem to stay in the same levels. From the three groups based on a partial correlation analysis for the first group BSP and FYSP it was found that bad emotions felt during lockdown, were uncorrelated to the year participants enter university. However, participants’ bad feelings after lockdown found to have a low, positive and statistically significant relationship with the year participants entered university. For the second group SLC and NSLC no statistical significance has been found concerning emotions. It is notable that for the third group between the distancing from both family and friends seems to affect more the emotions of the participants.

The results are discussed under the perspective of the need on organizing systematic support for young adults. It is crucial to understand that the society is reflected on the educational system and vice versa. As young adults enroll university, it is significant to support their social-emotional needs as part of their transition to adult life.

This work is part of a project that has received funding from the Research Committee of the University of Macedonia under the Basic Research 2020-21 funding programme.
Transition, young adults, emotions, COVID-19.