Anxiety and spiritual well-being in adolescents and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey


  • Cigdem Ceylan Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University Health Sciences Faculty, Department of Child Health and Disease Nursing, Bolu, Turkey
  • Cigdem Sari Ozturk Gazi University Nursing Faculty, Department of Child Health and Disease Nursing, Ankara, Turkey



COVID-19, spiritual well-being, anxiety, adolescent, young adult


Aim: This study aimed to determine the effect of spiritual well-being in reducing anxiety levels during the COVID-19 pandemic in adolescents and young adults.

Materials and Methods: 806 participants (aged 16–24) took part in this cross-sectional study in Turkey. The data was collected by online demographics form, anxiety levels before and during the pandemic, the reasons of the anxiety, coping strategies before and during the pandemic and Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS).

Results: The means of anxiety levels were higher during the pandemic than before the pandemic. Being anxious and coping with anxiety were increased and keeping calm when worried, feeling safe, and feeling peaceful were decreased according to before the pandemic. No correlation was found between anxiety level before the pandemic and SWBS (p > 0.05). A low negative correlation was found between anxiety level during the pandemic and SWBS (p < 0.05). Anxiety levels before and during the pandemic were found to be a statistically significant association (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: COVID-19 can affect individuals’ mental health and cause anxiety in individuals. Spiritual well-being is one of the important components for coping with anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Weston S, Frieman MB. COVID-19: Knowns, unknowns, and questions. mSphere. 2020;5(2):e00203-20. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00203-20. [homepage on the Internet]. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. [updated 6 April 2023; cited 9 April 2023]. Available form:

Zhang Y, Zhang H, Ma X, Di Q. Mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemics and the mitigation effects of exercise: a longitudinal study of college students in China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(10):3722. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103722. [homepage on the Internet]. COVID-19 Information Page. [updated 14-27 November 2022; cited 9 April 2023]. Available form:

Lucchetti G, Góes LG, Amaral SG, Ganadjian GT, Andrade I, Almeida POA, et al. Spirituality, religiosity and the mental health consequences of social isolation during Covid-19 pandemic. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2021;67(6):672-679. doi: 10.1177/0020764020970996.

Ozamiz-Etxebarria N, Dosil-Santamaria M, Picaza-Gorrochategui M, Idoiaga-Mondragon N. Stress, anxiety, and depression levels in the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in a population sample in the northern Spain. Cad Saude Publica. 2020;36(4):e00054020. doi: 10.1590/0102-311X00054020.

Shigemura J, Ursano RJ, Morganstein JC, Kurosawa M, Benedek DM. Public responses to the novel 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Japan: Mental health consequences and target populations. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2020;74(4):281-282. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12988.

Ravens-Sieberer U, Kaman A, Erhart M, Devine J, Schlack R, Otto C. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on quality of life and mental health in children and adolescents in Germany. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2022;31(6):879-889, doi: 10.1007/s00787-021-01726-5.

Zhou SJ, Zhang LG, Wang LL, Guo ZC, Wang JQ, Chen JC, et al. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of psychological health problems in Chinese adolescents during the outbreak of COVID-19. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020;29(6):749-758. doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01541-4.

Doust MV, Hojjati H, Farhangi H. Effect of Spiritual Care Based on Ghalbe Salim on Anxiety in Adolescent with Cancer. J Relig Health. 2020;59(6):2857-2865. doi: 10.1007/s10943-019-00869-9.

Gaskin-Wasson AL, Walker KL, Shin LJ, Kaslow NJ. Spiritual well-being and psychological adjustment: mediated by interpersonal needs? J Relig Health. 2018;57(4):1376-1391. doi: 10.1007/s10943-016-0275-y.

Giovagnoli AR, Paterlini C, Meneses RF, Silva AM. Spirituality and quality of life in epilepsy and other chronic neurological disorders. Epilepsy Behav. 2019;93:94-101. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.01.035.

Shek DTL. Spirituality as a positive youth development construct: a conceptual review. Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:458953, doi: 10.1100/2012/458953.

Amjad F, Bokharey IZ. Comparison of spiritual well-being and coping strategies of patients with generalized anxiety disorder and with minor general medical conditions. J Relig Health. 2015;54(2):524-39. doi: 10.1007/s10943-014-9834-2.

Elbay RY, Kurtulmuş A, Arpacıoğlu S, Karadere E. Depression, anxiety, stress levels of physicians and associated factors in Covid-19 pandemics. Psychiatry Res. 2020;290:113130. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113130.

Huang Y, Zhao N. Generalized anxiety disorder, depressive symptoms and sleep quality during COVID-19 outbreak in China: a web-based cross-sectional survey. Psychiatry Res. 2020;288:112954. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112954.

Verma S, Mishra A. Depression, anxiety, and stress and socio-demographic correlates among general Indian public during COVID-19. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2020;66(8):756-762. doi: 10.1177/0020764020934508.

Ekşi H, Kardaş S. Spiritual well-being: scale development and validation. Spiritual Psychology and Counseling. 2017;2(1):73-88. doi: 10.12738/spc.2017.1.0022.

Balasubramanian S, Rao NM, Goenka A, Roderick M, Ramanan AV. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children - what we know so far and what we do not. Indian Pediatr. 2020;57(5):435-442. doi: 10.1007/s13312-020-1819-5.

Magson NR, Freeman JYA, Rapee RM, Richardson CE, Oar EL, Fardouly J. Risk and protective factors for prospective changes in adolescent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Youth Adolesc. 2021;50(1):44-57. doi: 10.1007/s10964-020-01332-9.

Rias YA, Rosyad YS, Chipojola R, Wiratama BS, Safitri CI, Weng SF, et al. Effects of spirituality, knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward anxiety regarding COVID-19 among the general population in Indonesia: A cross-sectional study. J Clin Med. 2020;9(12):3798. doi: 10.3390/jcm9123798.

Husky MM, Kovess-Masfety V, Swendsen JD. Stress and anxiety among university students in France during Covid-19 mandatory confinement. Compr Psychiatry. 2020;102:152191. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2020.152191.

Wang X, Hegde S, Son C, Keller B, Smith A, Sasangohar F. Investigating mental health of us college students during the COVID-19 pandemic: cross-sectional survey study. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22(9):e22817. doi: 10.2196/22817.

Essadek A, Rabeyron T. Mental health of French students during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Affect Disord. 2020;277:392-393. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.08.042.

Savitsky B, Findling Y, Ereli A, Hendel T. Anxiety and coping strategies among nursing students during the covid-19 pandemic. Nurse Educ Prac. 2020;46:102809. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2020.102809.

Gambin M, Sękowski M, Woźniak-Prus M, Wnuk A, Oleksy T, Cudo A, et al. Generalized anxiety and depressive symptoms in various age groups during the COVID-19 lockdown in Poland. Specific predictors and differences in symptoms severity. Compr Psychiatry. 2021;105:152222. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2020.152222.

Glowacz F, Schmits E. Psychological distress during the COVID-19 lockdown: The young adults most at risk. Psychiatry Res. 2020;293:113486. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113486.

Mosheva M, Hertz-Palmor N, Ilan SD, Matalon N, Pessach IM, Afek A, et al. Anxiety, pandemic-related stress and resilience among physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Depress Anxiety. 2020;37(10):965-971. doi: 10.1002/da.23085.

Smith L, Jacob L, Yakkundi A, McDermott D, Armstrong NC, Barnett Y, et al. Correlates of symptoms of anxiety and depression and mental wellbeing associated with COVID-19: a cross-sectional study of UK-based respondents. Psychiatry Res. 2020;291:113138. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113138.

Sameer AS, Khan MA, Nissar S, Banday MZ. Assessment of mental health and various coping strategies among general population living under imposed COVID-lockdown across world: a cross-sectional study. Ethics, Medicine and Public Health. 2020;15:100571. doi: 10.1016/j.jemep.2020.100571.

Lyons Z, Wilcox H, Leung L, Dearsley O. COVID-19 and the mental well-being of Australian medical students: impact, concerns and coping strategies used. Australas Psychiatry. 2020;28(6):649-652. doi: 10.1177/1039856220947945.

Huang L, Lei W, Xu F, Liu H, Yu L. Emotional responses and coping strategies in nurses and nursing students during COVID-19 outbreak: A comparative study. PLoS One. 2020;15(8):e0237303. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237303.

Nwachukwu I, Nkire N, Shalaby R, Hrabok M, Vuong W, Gusnowski A, et al. COVID-19 pandemic: age-related differences in measures of stress, anxiety and depression in Canada. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(17):6366. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17176366.

Shah SMA, Mohammad D, Qureshi MFH, Abbas MZ, Aleem S. Prevalence, psychological responses and associated correlates of depression, anxiety and stress in a global population, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Community Mental Health J. 2020;57(1):101-110. doi: 10.1007/s10597-020-00728-y.

González-Sanguino C, Ausín B, Castellanos MA, Saiz J, López-Gómez A, Ugidos C, et al. Mental health consequences during the initial stage of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in Spain. Brain Behav Immun. 2020;87:172-176. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.040.

Prazeres F, Passos L, Simões JA, Simões P, Martins C, Teixeira A. COVID-19-related fear and anxiety: spiritual-religious coping in healthcare workers in Portugal. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;18(1):220. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18010220.

Salman M, Asif N, Mustafa ZU, Khan TM, Shehzadi N, Tahir H, et al. Psychological impairment and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic among students in Pakistan: a cross-sectional analysis. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2022;16(3):920-926. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2020.397.

Fabbris JL, Mesquita AC, Caldeira S, Carvalho AMP, Carvalho EC. Anxiety and spiritual well-being in nursing students: a cross-sectional study. J Holist Nurs. 2017;35(3):261-270. doi: 10.1177/0898010116655004.

Musa AS, Pevalin DJ, Al Khalaileh MAA. Spiritual well-being, depression, and stress among hemodialysis patients in Jordan. J Holis Nurs. 2018;36(4):354-365. doi: 10.1177/0898010117736686.




How to Cite

Ceylan, C., & Sari Ozturk, C. (2023). Anxiety and spiritual well-being in adolescents and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey. Journal of Social and Analytical Health, 3(3), 196–203.