Students’ Views on the Covid-19 pandemic: Attitudes, Representations, and Coping Mechanisms
Keywords:covid-19 pandemic, representations, fear, distrust, conspiracy
The new developments in our social context, the recent pandemic outbreak, caused a series of changes in everyday practices. The student population represents a particular case, both their safety and future education were under duress during this period. However, their views over the situation have not been present in the scientific literature. The present qualitative research aimed to explore students' perceptions, attitudes, views, and representations on the Covid-19 pandemic. Three focus groups, each containing twelve participants, were organised to explore these aspects and students’ particular experiences. Focus group sessions were audio-recorded and the transcripts were analysed. The results revealed four dimensions of the students' representations: change – as a constant of the present, prospective scenarios, the pulse of the moment, and surrounding risks. The limitations and the importance of the study are discussed. The consequences of these representations are particularly important due to the influence they can have on people’s practices during the crisis and the extent of measures’ acceptance. The results offer precious insights on why some communication strategies used by the authorities had a low compliance rate, what should be done differently, and what should be considered in order to promote adaptive health behaviors during the latter phases of the pandemic.
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