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Background: The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a high burden of psychological distress amongst adolescents.
Aim: This study aimed to evaluate associations of personal strengths including resilience and social support with internalising symptoms amongst college students during the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Setting: The study population included students from senior and junior college classes in public schools in Enugu metropolis, Nigeria.
Method: A school-based cross-sectional study design was employed for the study. A twostage sampling technique was used to select 496 students (mean age = 16.5, s.d. = 1.9 years; 52.2% female) in six out of 33 public colleges in Enugu metropolis, Nigeria during the lockdown period occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Validated questionnaires assessing anxiety, depression, resilience and social support were used to collect information.
Results: Most of the students reported depressive symptoms, whilst just over a third of the sample reported anxiety or both depressive and anxiety symptoms. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses revealed that being male and reporting higher levels of social support and the ability to bounce back from stress were associated with less anxiety. Being younger and reporting a moderate level of support were associated with more depressive
symptoms, whilst the ability to bounce back was associated with fewer depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: Good social support and the ability to bounce back from stress were linked to lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms amongst college adolescents during the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic despite high prevalence rates.