Distance education students’ mental health, connectedness and academic performance during COVID-19: a mixed-methods study

Di Malta, Gina, Bond, Julian, Conroy, Dominic, Smith, Katy and Moller, Naomi (2022) Distance education students’ mental health, connectedness and academic performance during COVID-19: a mixed-methods study. Distance Education, 43 (1). pp. 97-118. ISSN 0158-7919 (In Press)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2022.2029352

Abstract / Description

In this study, we investigated the links between distance education students’ mental health, connectedness, and academic performance during COVID-19, using a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. Online survey responses with a sample of 208 distance education students—aged 18–84, 144 females, 60 males, three nonbinary individuals, most (163) self-identified as White British—were analyzed using multiple regression, mediation, and content analysis. Connectedness (loneliness and a sense of connection to university) mediated links between mental health (wellbeing and anxiety) and academic performance. A subsample analysis with students who met clinical concern thresholds of anxiety and wellbeing (n¼123) revealed that poorer wellbeing was associated with less emotional intimacy, more loneliness, and poorer self-reported academic performance. Anxiety was associated with less emotional intimacy and higher relational intensity with one person, and poorer self-reported academic performance. These pathways were triangulated and contextualized within students’ experiences of connectedness. Future research using a longitudinal design is needed to establish causal links.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article published by Taylor & Francis in Distance Education on 14/02/2022, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01587919.2022.2029352.
Uncontrolled Keywords: mixed methods; mental health; connectedness; academic performance; COVID-19
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 370 Education
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Dominic Conroy
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2022 14:15
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2022 14:15
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7202

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