Frontiers in Psychology (2021-05-01)

Stress, Coping, and Resilience Before and After COVID-19: A Predictive Model Based on Artificial Intelligence in the University Environment

  • Francisco Manuel Morales-Rodríguez,
  • Juan Pedro Martínez-Ramón,
  • Inmaculada Méndez,
  • Cecilia Ruiz-Esteban

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647964
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12

Abstract

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The COVID-19 global health emergency has greatly impacted the educational field. Faced with unprecedented stress situations, professors, students, and families have employed various coping and resilience strategies throughout the confinement period. High and persistent stress levels are associated with other pathologies; hence, their detection and prevention are needed. Consequently, this study aimed to design a predictive model of stress in the educational field based on artificial intelligence that included certain sociodemographic variables, coping strategies, and resilience capacity, and to study the relationship between them. The non-probabilistic snowball sampling method was used, involving 337 people (73% women) from the university education community in south-eastern Spain. The Perceived Stress Scale, Stress Management Questionnaire, and Brief Resilience Scale were administered. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (version 24) was used to design the architecture of artificial neural networks. The results found that stress levels could be predicted by the synaptic weights of coping strategies and timing of the epidemic (before and after the implementation of isolation measures), with a predictive capacity of over 80% found in the neural network model. Additionally, direct and significant associations were identified between the use of certain coping strategies, stress levels, and resilience. The conclusions of this research are essential for effective stress detection, and therefore, early intervention in the field of educational psychology, by discussing the influence of resilience or lack thereof on the prediction of stress levels. Identifying the variables that maintain a greater predictive power in stress levels is an effective strategy to design more adjusted prevention programs and to anticipate the needs of the community.

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