Sources of Stress, Depression and Academic Functioning of University Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ivanka Živčić-Bećirević, Sanja Smojver-Ažić, Tamara Martinac Dorčić, Gorana Birovljević


The aim of the study was to examine the sources of stress
that students experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic
with respect to gender and change of residence, as well as
the relation between specific sources of stress, depressive
symptoms and self-rated academic functioning. The study
included 923 students aged 19 to 28 (73 % females). The
students completed the Stress Source Questionnaire, the
Academic Functioning Questionnaire, and the Depression,
Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Four groups of stress
sources have been identified. The consequences of isolation
represent the strongest stress source, followed by academic
stress, the possibility of infection, and family sources of
stress. Females experience all sources of stress more
intensely than males, and students who changed their
residence experience family problems and the consequences
of isolation more stressfully than students who live
continuously in their families. All sources of stress, except
possible infection, are significant predictors of depression,
while depression is a significant additional predictor of students' self-rated academic functioning after controlling for
gender, change of residence, and sources of stress. The
consequences of isolation, as a source of stress, have the
strongest effect on depression and self-rated academic


COVID-19 pandemic, university students, academic functioning, depression, sources of stress

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Copyright (c) 2021 Ivanka Zivcic-Becirevic, Sanja Smojver-Ažić, Tamara Martinac Dorčić, Gorana Birovljević

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096