Social support and academic experience among higher education students in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic

Meital Simhi*, Ohad Gilbar, Miriam Schiff, Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Rami Benbenishty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study focused on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the academic experience of university students and their plans for dropping out. We examined how their health, exposure to COVID, and personal COVID-related health risk were associated with perceived social support and a positive academic experience versus plans to drop out of academic studies. We questioned 10,635 students from six research universities in Israel in a cross-sectional online survey. Our findings confirmed that exposure to COVID-19 was positively associated with perceived social support and plans to drop out of academic studies, but negatively associated with a positive academic experience. The greater the perceived social support, the more positive the academic experience, with fewer plans to drop out academically. The more negative students' perceptions of their general health, the more frequent the plans to drop out of academic studies. Also, perceived social support and a positive academic experience mediated the associations between COVID-19 exposure and health status, and plans to drop out of academic studies. This study highlights the potentially positive role of social support and positive academic experiences as significant resources and potential protective factors against plans brought on by COVID to drop out of academic studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 International Union of Psychological Science.

Keywords

  • Academic experience
  • COVID-19 exposure
  • Health status
  • Social support
  • University students

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