Mental health and personality implications among medical students during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic

Lingyu Zhang1, Jiaying Wu1, Chuying Deng1, Meimei Zhang1, Changjin Li2, Qi Wang2
1School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, School of Biomedical Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, People’s Republic of China
2Affiliated Kangning Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University and School of Mental Health, Wenzhou Medical University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhang, L., Wu, J., Deng, C., Zhang, M., Li, C., & Wang, Q. (2021). Mental health and personality implications among medical students during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 49(8), e10544.

Volume 49 Issue 8 | e10544 | Published: August 2021 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.10544

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Few studies have explored the correlations between personality traits and mental health during the outbreak period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, we conducted a cross-sectional survey to assess the personality traits and mental health of 142 students at Wenzhou Medical University, using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the Sleep Status Self-Rating Scale, and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory. The results indicate that 30.28% of the sample had symptoms of anxiety, 40.85% had symptoms of depression, and 13.38% had disordered sleep. Neuroticism was positively correlated with anxiety, depression, and disordered sleep; extraversion was negatively correlated with anxiety, depression, and disordered sleep; openness was negatively correlated with disordered sleep; and conscientiousness was negatively correlated with both depression and disordered sleep. The results demonstrate that personality traits were risk factors for psychological disorders among students during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our findings may help provide a guide for screening for those susceptible to psychological disorders.

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