Int J Environ Res Public Health 18 (17) - [2021-09-04; online 2021-09-04]
Mental health problems are prevalent among university students in Saudi Arabia. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students' mental health and sleep in Saudi Arabia. A total of 582 undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia aged between 18 and 45 years old (M = 20.91, SD = 3.17) completed a cross-sectional online questionnaire measuring depression, anxiety, stress, resilience, and insomnia during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020). Analysis included an independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA, and Hierarchical regression analysis. Undergraduate students reported high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress and low levels of resilience (p < 0.001) during the pandemic. In addition, students reported experiencing insomnia. A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that lower resilience, high levels of insomnia, having a pre-existing mental health condition, and learning difficulties (such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or dyscalculia) were significantly associated with high levels of depression and stress. In addition, lower resilience, a high level of insomnia, and pre-existing mental health conditions were significantly associated with high levels of anxiety. Finally, a lower level of psychological resilience and a high level of insomnia were significantly associated with increased levels of depression, anxiety and stress within university students. This study has provided evidence that a lower level of psychological resilience and insomnia were associated with mental health problems among undergraduate students in Saudi Arabia, thus enhancing psychological resilience and interventions to support sleep and mental health are vital to support student well-being outcomes throughout the pandemic.