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Coping with Psychological Issues Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic Times: Perspectives of Undergraduates of Non-State Universities

Authors:

R. S. Weerarathna ,

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, LK
About R. S.
SLIIT Business School
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V. R. Dunuwila,

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, LK
About V. R.
SLIIT Business School
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N. U. Jayasuriya,

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, LK
About N. U.
SLIIT Business School
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A. K. P. Madhusanka,

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, LK
About A. K. P.
SLIIT Business School
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M. K. U. Ravishanka,

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, LK
About M. K. U.
SLIIT Business School
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S. N. Pothupitiya

Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, LK
About S. N.
SLIIT Business School
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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused much upheaval to people's lifestyles worldwide/globally. Even university undergraduates had to switch from conventional physical classrooms to online learning. According to several studies, various issues pertaining to online learning have intensified the stress levels of undergraduates. This study adopted a qualitative approach. Primary data were gathered through structured interviews, from which coping mechanisms used by the students were identified based on a thematic analysis performed through NVIVO. Coping mechanisms played a critical role in ensuring these undergraduates' ability to handle their psychological issues and continue their academic work. The population included non-state undergraduates in Sri Lanka in the academic year 2020 and the sample size was 30. Findings revealed online learning, high workload, and IT infrastructure issues as key challenges undergraduates face during the pandemic. Among these, two main themes were identified as individual activities and group activities regarding coping mechanisms adopted by undergraduates to alleviate stress. This study recommends/highlights the importance of undergraduates engaging in such activities that help sustain their psychological status. Similarly, the study emphasized the role of universities and higher education institutes in facilitating and promoting such activities among their student population.
How to Cite: Weerarathna, R.S., Dunuwila, V.R., Jayasuriya, N.U., Madhusanka, A.K.P., Ravishanka, M.K.U. and Pothupitiya, S.N., 2022. Coping with Psychological Issues Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic Times: Perspectives of Undergraduates of Non-State Universities. Kelaniya Journal of Human Resource Management, 17(2), pp.26–39. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/kjhrm.v17i2.111
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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