Association between Changes in Daily Life during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Depressive Symptoms in Korean University Students


Young-Mee Kim, Sung-il Cho

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Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic, which emerged in late 2019, had a profound impact on global public health and disrupted the daily lives of people worldwide. Particularly, university students faced a challenging situation as their university life underwent a drastic transformation due to long-term remote learning and isolation measures. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between changes in daily life during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and depressive symptoms among university students aged between 19 and 29 in Korea. Methods: We analyzed data from the nationally representative 2020 Community Health Survey (CHS). Among the 229,269 participants, 9,279 university students aged 19-29, either enrolled or on leave, were selected. After excluding 401 cases with missing values, the final sample comprised 8,878 individuals. Using multivariate logistic regression with a complex sample design, we explored the association between daily life changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and depressive symptoms. Results: Changes in daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with depressive symptoms in Korean university students aged 19 to 29, even after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, health-related factors, and COVID-19-related aspects (OR=1.28, 95% CI=1.09~1.50). Conclusion: Our study suggests that when examining the impact of COVID-19 on health issues, it is crucial to consider the changes in daily life caused by the pandemic. These findings can provide insights into the psychological well-being of university students during times of crisis.


1. Study Objectives
1. Study Subject
2. Measures
3. Statistical Methods
1. Characteristics of the Study Participations
2. Depressive Symptoms according to the Characteristicsof the Study Participants
3. Associations between Changes in Daily Life during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Depressive Symptoms


  • Young-Mee Kim Researcher, Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University
  • Sung-il Cho Professor, Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University


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