Association of Positive and Negative Feelings with Anxiety and Depression Symptoms among Computer Science Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic


The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact not just on physical health, but also on mental health. Previous studies have demonstrated that Computer Science (CS) students are particularly vulnerable to mental illness. This paper presents a study describing the changes in CS students' positive and negative feelings during the pandemic and social isolation, as well as activities used to cope with this new situation. Our evaluation shows that 81.0% of students reported that their well-being had been negatively affected by the pandemic, with the most reported concerns including social isolation, delay in their academic progress, risk of contamination, and death of loved ones, with discouragement, uncertainty, and stress being the negative feelings that increased the most. Our study also showed that these negative feelings correlated with a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms, and that the impact was more pronounced in female students than in male students.
Palavras-chave: mental health, positive feeling, negative feeling, anxiety, depression, well-being, students, Computer Science, COVID-19


Gerta Bardhoshi, Kelly Duncan, and Bradley T. Erford. 2016. Psychometric Meta-Analysis of the English Version of the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Journal of Counseling & Development 94, 3, 356–373.

Aaron Temkin Beck, Norman Epstein, Gary Brown, and Robert A. Steer. 1988. An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: psychometric properties. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology 56, 6, 893–897.

Aaron T. Beck, Robert A. Steer, and Margery G. Carbin. 1988. Psychometric properties of the Beck Depression Inventory: Twenty-five years of evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review 8, 1, 77 – 100.

Aaron Temkin Beck, C. H. Ward, M. Mendelson, J. Mock, and J. Erbaugh. 1961. An Inventory for Measuring Depression. JAMA Psychiatry 4, 6, 561–571.

Wenjun Cao, Ziwei Fang, Guoqiang Hou, Mei Han, Xinrong Xu, Jiaxin Dong, and Jianzhong Zheng. 2020. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on college students in China. Psychiatry Research 287, 112934.

Bongjae Choi, Geumsook Shim, Bumseok Jeong, and Sungho Jo. 2020. Data-driven analysis using multiple self-report questionnaires to identify college students at high risk of depressive disorder. Scientific Reports 10, 7867–.

Wagner Gouvea dos Santos. 2020. Natural history of COVID-19 and current knowledge on treatment therapeutic options. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 129, 110493.

Madhav Goyal, Sonal Singh, Erica M. S. Sibinga, Neda F. Gould, Anastasia Rowland-Seymour, Ritu Sharma, Zackary Berger, Dana Sleicher, David D. Maron, Hasan M. Shihab, Padmini D. Ranasinghe, Shauna Linn, Shonali Saha, Eric B. Bass, and Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite. 2014. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine 174, 3, 357–368.

Nicholas Grubic, Shaylea Badovinac, and Amer M Johri. 2020. Student mental health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: A call for further research and immediate solutions. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 66, 5, 517–518.

Mathilde M. Husky, Viviane Kovess-Masfety, and Joel D. Swendsen. 2020. Stress and anxiety among university students in France during Covid-19 mandatory confinement. Comprehensive Psychiatry 102, 152191.

Chrysi K. Kaparounaki, Mikaella E. Patsali, Danai-Priskila V. Mousa, Eleni V.K. Papadopoulou, Konstantina K.K. Papadopoulou, and Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis. 2020. University students’ mental health amidst the COVID-19 quarantine in Greece. Psychiatry Research 290, 113111.

Zaza Lyons, Helen Wilcox, Lianne Leung, and Oliver Dearsley. 2020. COVID-19 and the mental well-being of Australian medical students: impact, concerns and coping strategies used. Australasian Psychiatry 28, 6, 649–652.

Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kristin Layous. 2013. How Do Simple Positive Activities Increase Well-Being? Current Directions in Psychological Science 22, 1, 57–62.

Paula Odriozola-Gonzalez, Alvaro Planchuelo-Gomez, Maria Jesus Irurtia, and Rodrigo de Luis-Garcia. 2020. Psychological effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown among students and workers of a Spanish university. Psychiatry Research 290, 113108.

Mikaella E. Patsali, Danai-Priskila V. Mousa, Eleni V.K. Papadopoulou, Konstantina K.K. Papadopoulou, Chrysi K. Kaparounaki, Ioannis Diakogiannis, and Konstantinos N Fountoulakis. 2020. University students’ changes in mental health status and determinants of behavior during the COVID-19 lockdown in Greece. Psychiatry Research 292.

M. E. Seligman, T. A. Steen, N. Park, and C. Peterson. 2005. Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. Am Psychol 60, 5, 410–421.

Nancy L. Sin and Sonja Lyubomirsky. 2009. Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: a practice-friendly meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology 65, 5, 467–487.

Lígia Maria Soares Passos, Christian Murphy, Rita Zhen Chen, Marcos Gonçalves de Santana, and Giselle Soares Passos. 2020. The Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Symptoms among Brazilian Computer Science Students. In Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (Portland, OR, USA) (SIGCSE’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 316–322.

Julio Torales, Marcelo O’Higgins, Joao Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia, and Antonio Ventriglio. 2020. The outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global mental health. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 66, 4, 317–320.

Keiko Yamaguchi, Yoshitake Takebayashi, Mitsuhiro Miyamae, Asami Komazawa, Chika Yokoyama, and Masaya Ito. 2020. Role of focusing on the positive side during COVID-19 outbreak: Mental health perspective from positive psychology. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy 12, S59–S50.
Como Citar

Selecione um Formato
SOARES PASSOS, Lígia Maria; MURPHY, Christian; CHEN, Rita Zhen; SANTANA, Marcos Gonçalves; PASSOS, Giselle Soares. Association of Positive and Negative Feelings with Anxiety and Depression Symptoms among Computer Science Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In: SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE EDUCAÇÃO EM COMPUTAÇÃO (EDUCOMP), 2. , 2022, Online. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2022 . p. 50-56. DOI: