Original Articles

Impact of COVID-19 on the Life of Higher-Education Students in İstanbul: Relationship Between Social Support, Health-Risk Behaviors, and Mental/Academic Well-Being


Department of Psychiatry, Marmara University Pendik Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Marmara University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Alpha Psychiatry 2021; 22: 291-300
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2021.21319
Read: 6146 Downloads: 927 Published: 01 November 2021

Objective: This study aimed to draw a general picture of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the life of higher-education students in İstanbul, with specific emphasis on the relationship between students’ social support systems, healthrisk behaviors, and mental/academic well-being.

Methods: A total of 2583 higher-education students from different fields of study participated in an online survey gathering information from several domains, including available social networks, support-seeking attitudes, substance use patterns, physical activity levels, academic stress, academic satisfaction, and psychological well-being during the pandemic.

Results: Our findings pointed to major changes in students’ life circumstances and daily routines during COVID-19, including a significant decrease in contact with friends, overall substance use, and physical activity as well as high levels of depression, academic stress, and academic dissatisfaction. Depressive symptoms were significantly predicted by the loneliness score (OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.88-2.29), female gender (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.21-2.24), frequency of binge drinking (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.06-1.86), and level of academic stress (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.1-1.19), whereas the number of people to easily borrow money from was found to be a protective factor against depression (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.92-0.99).

Conclusion: Our results highlight the need for higher-education institutions to take the appropriate social and mental health interventions, tailored to fit the specific requirements of the COVID-19-related measures.

Cite this article as: Bulut NS, Yorguner N, Akvardar Y. Impact of COVID-19 on the life of higher-education students in İstanbul: relationship between social support, health-risk behaviors, and mental/academic well-being. Alpha Psychiatry. 2021;22(6):291-300.

EISSN 2757-8038