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Tan, C. S., Caleon, I. S., Munirah, Shaik Kadir, Chua, J., & Nur Qamarina, Ilham(2022). Navigating challenges during COVID-19 pandemic: Experiences and coping strategies of Singapore students. Educational and Developmental Psychologist. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/20590776.2022.2079405
Educational and Developmental Psychologist
This study explores the experiences and coping strategies of secondary students as they engaged in learning activities during the pandemic. It investigated the sources of student stress during the pandemic, and the extent to which the pandemic influenced the stress that they usually experience.
Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit details of the students’ lived experiences as they navigated learning via an online platform, their coping strategies in managing stress.
With regards to academic experiences, many students found online learning challenging and ineffective and were concerned about their examinations. Under social experiences, many students shared that they missed social and recreational activities during the “circuit breaker”. However, some students demonstrated resilience and were able to see the benefits of going through the pandemic. More students reported academic-related than social-related stress. The students coped with stress in three ways: (1) disengagement, (2) taking active steps and (3) turning to others.
Academic concerns were a major source of distress among adolescents. Insights that were drawn from the results of the study can be utilized to support students in managing stress and mitigate its adverse effects on student learning and functioning.
What is already known about this topic:
(1) The pandemic has a more serious impact on adolescents’ mental health and emotional well-being and many adolescents experience anxiety during this period.
(2) Positive reappraisal, strengths use and emotional processing are some strategies used by adolescents to cope with stress during the pandemic.
What this topic adds:
(1) Although many students found online learning stressful and ineffective, some students in this study had meaningful and positive experiences during the period when they had online lessons at home.
(2) Despite the challenges, some students demonstrated resilience and were even able to see the benefits arising from going through the pandemic. Others appreciated spending more time with their family members.
(3) Adolescents coped with stress experienced during the pandemic in three ways: (1) disengagement, (2) taking active steps and (3) turning to others.
OER 15/19 ISC
National Institute of Education, Singapore
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