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ISSN: 1935-1232 (P)

ISSN: 1941-2010 (E)

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Research Article - Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses ( 2021) Volume 0, Issue 0

Future Anxiety among University Students in Light of the Corona Pandemic and War in Yemen
Nasser Ali Al‐Baddai1 and Mohammed Hasan Ali Al‐Abyadh2*
 
1Department of Psychology, Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemen
2Department of Mental Health, Thamar University, Thamar, Yemen
 
*Corresponding Author:
Mohammed Hasan Ali Al‐Abyadh, Department of Mental Health, Thamar University, Thamar, Yemen, Email: [email protected]

Received: 15-Nov-2021 Accepted Date: Nov 29, 2021 ; Published: 06-Dec-2021, DOI: 10.3371/CSRP.ANMA.120621

Abstract

The study aimed to identify the level of future anxiety among university students in general. The study sample consisted of 320 male and female students, of whom 200 were from Sana’a University a public university, and 120 from private universities, in the capital Sana’a. Therefore, a Future Anxiety Scale was developed. The results of the study showed that the level of future anxiety among the sample members was high, as the political field came first with a high degree, while the social field came in the last with a high degree. The results also indicated that there were no differences in the level of total future anxiety and its fields according to the gender variable. Except in the political field, there are differences in favor of females. There are no differences in the level of total future anxiety and its fields according to the variable of marital status, except the political field, there are differences in favor of the married. The results also confirmed the absence of differences in all fields according to economic status, residence, and type of university variables, with exception of the political field according to the university variable in favor of Sana’a University.

Keywords

Political field • Corona • Behavioral

Introduction

The life of Yemeni society is full of psychological disorders and life stresses due to war, internal conflict, and crises. Unluckily, the Corona Virus pandemic came to add another layer to suffering and made matters worse. It puts further strain on the health system, which was already torn by war. It was experiencing a shortage of resources and damage due to the prolonged years of conflict. It is not sufficiently prepared and equipped to provide the essential care for Corona patients and to contain the outbreak of the virus. However, this outbreak is only one of numerous health concerns that affect human life in Yemen.

There is no individual whose life is devoid of disturbances. One of these disturbances is future anxiety, as the degree of anxiety about the future may vary from one individual to another, especially since we live in a state of changes and unpleasant events. Therefore, a Yemeni citizen is living in a state of generalized anxiety about himself and the world he lives in. The Yemeni citizen is stuck between war and Corona and a dire need to secure the necessities of life, that is, war, Corona, and poverty, which would cause future anxiety, whether in the near or far future.

Neither war nor Corona has a specific time to end, nor does poverty. University students have not remained unaffected by these challenges, as they are the most vulnerable by such circumstances and the most influential people in society. They are an integral part of society and the axis of the educational process. They are often a kind of worried about their future lives. They always have a perception of both near or far future alike, whether this perception is negative or positive, it expresses a personality molded by circumstances and suffering.

Anxiety is a natural part of a person's life. It affects his behavior and it is considered a sign of his humanity and existence, a fact of life, a dynamic aspect of character building, and one of the behavioral variables. All individuals suffer from it in the various challenging situations they face, and in this case, it is considered a natural reaction because it constitutes a motive for the individual to take appropriate behavioral measures to confront the situation. However, anxiety becomes dangerous if its degree exceeds the normal limit, and then it may be associated with behavioral disorders. It may mix and overlap with fear, struggle, illusion, and frustrations that an individual may experience in his life [1]. Study points that the most important reasons that lead to future anxiety are the stresses of political, economic, and social life, negative self-concept, feelings of fear, pessimism, and insecurity, inability to adapt and to make decisions and alienation. The era in which we live has been called the era of anxiety as a result of its tensions, pressures, political and economic problems, armed conflicts, and the lack of career opportunities for students graduating from the university [2]. Mohammed Confirms that the individual who keeps watching events with concern in an exaggerated manner, these events will turn into a source of stress [3]. Therefore, the perception of the stimulus as negative is attributed to the individual’s inability to control it, and then the sense of anxiety will increase. The individual who suffers from future anxiety is characterized by trusting nobody, which makes him clash with others, and this would exacerbate disputes with them. He will use self-defense mechanisms such as displacement, repression, and projection to lessen his negative painful thoughts and feelings. It also affects the individual's performance, efficiency, and satisfaction with the work he performs [4].

Many studies have addressed future anxiety among university students, such as a study conducted by Hassan, Momani, AbdulHafeez, Mohi. Its findings indicated that students' feelings are is staggeringly high characterized by anxiety about the future [1,5-7]. The study Al-Lihyani and Al-Taher is indicating that there is a correlation between future anxiety and psychological stresses. While the findings reached by Al-Jindi study revealed that gender discrepancies exist in the level of future anxiety about marriage in favor of females [8,9].

Hammad states in his study that future anxiety is one of the main features as a result of economic and social changes, and it increasingly emerges among university students not only due to fear of failure in their studies but also due to the fear of lack of job opportunities [10]. While the findings reached by the Al-Rifai study indicated a high level of future anxiety among his sample members given the spread of the Corona pandemic [11].

Through examining previous studies, it became clear that future anxiety is a phenomenon that negatively affects students’ perception, interaction, abilities, and future ambition, making them vulnerable to psychological and behavioral disorders and became incapable to adapt.

Given the foregoing, it can be argued that future anxiety may affect the individual’s level of ambition, inhibit his ability to attain his goals, and make him unable to solve problems, which may limit his self-efficacy, which is correlated with lack of concentration and low self-esteem. Self-efficacy is one of the important characteristics in addressing anxiety. Since Bandura pointed out that self-efficacy helps to control anxiety-inducing thought patterns. It also affects the level of ambition, achievement, motivation, and learning. Self-efficacy is not only an appreciation of an individual's capability but also of the beliefs he develops (Al-Masry). This may make the individual lose the purpose of life, and the consequent belief of the individual that his life is devoid of any meaning, purpose, or value, and he misses what he seeks in life [12,13].

This study deals with an important stage of human life, which is the stage of university youth that forms a solid ground for the later stages of his life due to its significance for both individuals and society. Future anxiety emerges as a result of the pressures and frustrations that university students may face with constant concern. Therefore, it is important to study the aspects that enhance their abilities to face pressures and challenges and to be optimistic and psychologically secure, especially since we live in an age of speed and global change.

In addition, the current situation of Yemeni society has hurt all aspects of daily life and created many challenges, resulting in people's anxiety about the future, which cannot be ignored, but these challenges are not excluded. In any aspect of life, anxiety is a real problem, which affects the mental health of university students, limits their ability, learning motivation, and increases their anxiety about the future.

Statement of the problem

The problem of this study stems from the anxiety of university students about the future by investigating their suffering due to the war and the spread of coronavirus in Yemen and the increase of their psychological stresses, burdens, and hardships. The difficulties they encounter in life make them worry about their future, so we think today's university students need help to address their interests and problems. Therefore, the problem of this study is reflected by answering the following questions.

What is the level of future anxiety among the students of Sana’a University and several private universities in the capital Secretariat about the future in light of the Corona pandemic and war in Yemen?

Significance of the study

This study is characterized by the fact that, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, it is the only study addressing the anxiety of a sample of university students (public and private universities) about the future in the light of the corona pandemic and war in Yemen. Developing a four-dimension future anxiety scale consistent with the study population. The results of this study may help to draw the attention of decision-makers to develop some mentoring and awareness-raising programs to adapt to the current situation in Yemen and to develop concrete proposals and solutions to reduce young people's anxiety about the future.

Objectives of the study

The study aimed to identify the level of future anxiety among Sana’a University students and several private university students in Sana’a city in light of the Corona pandemic and the war in Yemen.

1. The differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the gender variable (males/females).
2. The differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the marital status variable (married/single).
3. The differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the economic status variable (low - medium - good).
4. The differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the residence variable (rural-urban).
5. The differences in future anxiety level and its fields in the study sample of University variables (Sana'a University and private universities).

Material and Methods

According to the questions raised, this study uses the descriptive analysis method to reveal, understand, describe and analyze the future anxiety level of college students in related fields.

Study population and sample

The study population consists of university students from the second semester of the academic year (2020-2021). The study sample amounted to 320 male and female students from Sana’a University and several private universities in the capital Secretariat, whose ages ranged between 19 and 30 years. They were randomly and purposefully selected. Table 1 shows the distribution of sample members according to the variable of university and gender.

Table 1: Distribution of the study sample by university and gender variables.
University        Gender          Total       Grand Total
  Male Female    
Sana’a University (public) 110 90 200 320
Private University 70 50 120

Study tool

After the researchers reviewed the literature, sources, standards, and studies related to the subject of the study, the scale was built given the cultural differences between the relevant scales and the sample of the current study. The inconsistency of those scales with the nature and society of the current study in the Republic of Yemen, in addition to what was stated in the answers and pre-survey interviews of the study sample of the current study, proves the cultural difference of the sample and suggests developing a psychometric tool based on the Yemeni environment to suit the youth at this stage and the health, economic, social and political crises they face as a result of the ongoing war and the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

The stability of the tool was verified by reapplication in many ways. The scale was judged by several specialists in psychology. In light of the results of the arbitration, the wording was modified, some phrases were deleted, some phrases were added, the internal consistency of each phrase of the scale its correlation with the total score of the scale, all of which were significant. As for the stability of the tool, it was verified by re-application. The stability of the tool was calculated by using Cronbach's Alpha, which is illustrated in Table 2.

Table 2: a–Cronbach’s alpha stability coefficient.
Field Stability Coefficient
Social Field .72
Economical Field .84
Politics .79
Health .81
Total .93

It is clear from the previous table that the values of Cronbach's alpha coefficient ranged from (72 -84), while the reliability coefficient for the scale of future anxiety as a whole is 93, thus making the scale valid for the final application.

Therefore, the scale in its final form consisted of 40 items, distributed over four sub-fields of future anxiety. These sub-fields are the social field 10 items, the economic field 10 items, the political field 10 items, and the health field 10 items. Those items are distributed on four sub-fields of future anxiety, listed according to the Triple Likert Scale (applies, sometimes, not applicable), and its Correction (3,2,1).

Statistical methods

• Cronbach's alpha equation for measuring consistency.
• T.Test for independent samples.
• One-way Analysis of Variance test. (One Way ANOVA)

Presentation and discussion of the results

First objective: To identify the level of future anxiety among students of Sana’a University and several students of private universities in Sana’a City in light of the Corona pandemic and war in Yemen.

To achieve this objective, the arithmetic means and standard deviations were calculated for each sub-fields of the Future Anxiety Scale. The results are as shown in Tables 3-6 below.

Table 3: Indicates that the responses of the sample members social field.
Sr. Items Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Anxiety Level
1 I am afraid that I will fail in my marital life in the future. 2.72 .472 High
2 I am worried about the increasing breakdown of social and humanitarian relationships among people 2.72 .563 High
3 I am concerned about the lack of social engagement due to Corona. 2.68 .534 High
4 I feel that my hopes and ambitions will not come true. 2.66 .575 High
5 I am concerned about changes in values as a result of the situation in Yemen. 2.58 .543 High
6 The high rate of divorce in society bothers me. 2.50 .603 High
7 I am concerned about the interference of my parents in determining my fate. 2.25 .751 Moderate
8 I am worried that my behavior in dealing with my family members will deteriorate due to the current circumstances in Yemen. 2.19 .664 Moderate
9 I am afraid of losing a member of my family. 2.17 .743 Moderate
10 I am afraid of the deterioration of my social relations in the future. 2.13 .630 Moderate
Total Average 21.93 3.053 High

Table 4: Indicate that the responses of the sample members Economic field.
Sr. Items Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Anxiety Level
1 I am afraid that in the future I may not find a job that matches my qualifications. 2.47 .570 High
2 The high cost of living makes me feel anxious about my future. 2.44 .697 High
3 I feel anxious about the depreciation of the Yemeni Riyal currency. 2.37 .649 High
4 I fear that poverty will increase in the future due to the current situations and the ongoing deprivation of salaries/ 2.37 .644 High
5 I fear that unemployment will increase and that will minimize my job opportunities after graduation. 2.34 .704 moderate
6  I feel that my studies will be useless in the future. 2.24 .700 Moderate
7 I'm afraid I'll never get married in the future because the costs and burdens of marriage are getting bigger and bigger. 2.16 .689 Moderate
8 I am afraid that I won’t be able to afford a residence in the future. 2.16 .750 Moderate
9 I am concerned about the increasing demands and obligations of life. 2.01 .676 Moderate
10 Other people's experiences in life reinforce my professional future anxiety. 2.28 .678 Moderate
Total Average 22.85 3.100 High

Table 5: Indicate that the responses of the sample members to the items the political field.
Sr. Items Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Anxiety Level
1 I see that emigrating and leaving Yemen because of the events taking place in Yemen is the solution to all my problems 2.75 .525 High
2 I see that the goals that I couldn’t achieve today will be achieved tomorrow. 2.75 .519 High
3 I feel optimistic about the establishment of the modern Yemeni state in the future. 2.62 .576 High
4 I feel life is futile aimless without a clear vision of the future. 2.51 .653 High
5 I am very concerned about what is happening of ideological extremism in my country. 2.50 .618 High
6 I feel that the future does not have any honorable image as a result of the war and the ongoing conflict in Yemen. 2.38 .732 High
7 I feel that the economic embargo imposed on my country is making the future of my country worse. 2.38 .612 High
8 I feel anxious about the political changes expected in the future. 2.37 .687 High
9 أI am deeply concerned by the ongoing war in Yemen. 2.28 .751 Moderate
10 I feel that the anti-Yemeni foreign political movement hurts Yemeni society. 2.25 .680 Moderate
Total Average 24.78 3.056 High

Table 6: Indicate that the responses of the sample members to the items in the field of health field.
Sr. Items Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Anxiety Level
1 I am absent-minded and can’t focus. 2.64 .536 High
2 I have sleep disorders. 2.62 .542 High
3 I'm afraid of infectious diseases, such as coronavirus. 2.54 .617 High
4 Everything around us proves that the past is better than the present and the future. 2.48 .667 High
5 I expect that as the current stressing situation continues, my health will deteriorate. 2.42 .676 High
6 I am saddened and distressed by the death, disabilities, and destruction suffered by our people as a result of war and siege. 2.37 .655 High
7 I am worried that mental illness will increase in the future due to the current situation 2.36 .685 Moderate
8 The thought of death haunts me all the time. 2.33 .664 Moderate
9 I feel great psychological concern because of the economic hardships we are living in. 2.27 .622 Moderate
10 I feel very nervous due to the recklessness of some citizens who don’t adhere to disease prevention measures. 2.21 .697 Moderate
Total Mean 24.24 2.999 High

On the other hand, Table 7 shows a summary of these results and ranks of the fields of future anxiety in descending order according to the degree of their severity and the total score of the future anxiety scale from the perspective of the study sample members. It should be noted that the arithmetic means were classified to determine future anxiety levels among the study sample members according to the following criterion:

Table 7: The arithmetic mean and standard deviation for each field and the sample as a whole.
Field No. Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Anxiety Level
Political 320 24.78 3.056 High
Health 320 24.24 2.999 High
Economic 320 22.85 3.100 High
Social 320 21.93 3.053 High
Total Score 320 93.80 9.405 High

(1-1,67 low score)
(1,68-2,35 moderate score)
(2,36-3,03 and above=high score)

Data in Table 3 indicates that the responses of the sample members to the items in the field of social future anxiety were high, as the general average reached (21.93), while 6 items obtained high means ranging between (2.50-2.72), and 4 items with an average score ranging between (2.13-2.25). This result is due to the university students' feeling that the future is ambiguous and unstable, full of anxiety and despair due to the economic, health, social, and political changes resulting from the current conditions in Yemen.

This result is consistent with the A'ajal study. It is clear what highly causes anxiety among the sample members is the issue of social distancing due to Corona and the changes taking place in social values and traditions and the high incidence of divorce in society. This reflects a good awareness and consciousness among university students of the seriousness of the status quo.

The researcher selected two items that included anxiety, which had the highest level of high anxiety among university students, and another item with the lowest anxiety level.

Item No.1 had the intensive high level of anxiety, which came in the first place and states that (I am afraid that I will fail in my marital life in the future). In the second place is item No.2, which states (I am worried about the increasing breakdown of social and humanitarian relationships among people). As for item No.10, which had the lowest average anxiety level, it came last, which states (I am afraid that my social relationship will worsen in the future). The researcher believes that the reason is attributed to the increased pressures and complexities of life. The pessimistic view that predominates the family atmosphere has led to a melancholy view of the future among the youth. From the foregoing, we find that the social aspect occupies a good space for the youth to think about the future.

The data in Table 4 indicate that the responses of the sample members to the items in the field of economic future anxiety were high, with a general mean reaching (22.85), as 4 items received high means ranging between (2.37-2.47), and 6 items with an average degree ranging between (2.01- 2.34). This result can be explained in the light of what Yemeni society in general, including university students, face from stifling economic pressures as a result of the internal conflict and war. These pressures are represented in the closure of most productive institutions and enterprises and the layoff of several employees, on one hand, deprivation of the salaries for state employees, the widespread of corruption, and the control of patronage, on the other hand, add to Coronavirus outbreaks, which created another burden. This leads to anxiety about the future based on the provision of the basic needs of present and future life, which are constantly increasing, whether in terms of rising prices, or other costs of living.

Item No.1 had the highest high level of concern, which came in first and states (I am afraid that I will not find a job that matches my educational qualifications in the future), and in the second place is item No.2, which states (High cost of living makes me feel anxious about my future). The researcher believes that the sample members have concerns about the lack of job opportunities after graduation, as many of them may have to practice many jobs that may not match the nature of their specializations. This result can be explained in light of the economic and political conditions that students face). Item No.9, which had the lowest average level of anxiety, came in the last rank, which states (I am concerned about the increasing demands and obligations of life), the researcher explains this result in light of the current living conditions and the inability to provide all the daily needs such as food, clothing and personal needs. Thus, the economic aspect, which forms the backbone of daily life, has occupied a large portion of young people's thinking and concern about their economic future.

Data of Table 5 indicate that the responses of the sample members to the items in the political future anxiety are high, as the general average reached (24.78), as 8 items obtained averages with a high score ranging between (2.37-2.75), and 2 items with an average score ranging between (2.25-2.28). This result, which indicated a high level of future anxiety, can be explained based on the nature of wars, tensions, internal conflicts, and crises. The prolonged years of war threw Yemen several decades back in history and it is heading to an unknown future. In light of the fear and the collision of these hopes and aspirations with reality, which may stand in the way of achieving these aspirations and hopes, this may cause a state of anxiety and tension to the individual.

In addition, item No.1 had the highest score at anxiety level, which came first and states (I think that immigration and leaving Yemen due to the ongoing events in Yemen, is the solution for all my problems). This result indicates that all sample members prefer to live abroad due to the hardship they face, insecurity, and instability in their homeland. Moreover, item No.2 came in second place, which states (I think that my goals that I couldn’t achieve today will be achieved tomorrow). The researcher believes that the members of the sample, despite their anxiety about their future and the negative thoughts they may have sometimes about the future, see that tomorrow will be better. This is due to their belief in God. In respect of item No.10, which had the lowest average anxiety level, it came in last, which states (I see that the anti-Yemeni external political movement hurts the Yemeni society), which is to some extent true, but real solutions will not come from outside.

Data of Table 6 indicate that the responses of the sample members to the items in the field of health future anxiety were high, with a general average reaching (24.24), as 6 items obtained averages with a high degree ranging between (2.37-2.64), and 4 items with a medium degree, ranging between (2.21-2.36). This result can be explained in light of the ongoing events in Yemen, which contributed to the spread of many psychological and physical disorders as a natural consequence of the painful events that people had experienced such as displacement, fear, and danger that surrounding them from every side, so the voice of war carries a lot of mixed feelings of terror, fear and insecurity, especially for people who have lost a close or dear person and psychological pain that these events engraved in their hearts, and war is still going on. As for item No. 10, which had the lowest average of anxiety level, it ranked last, which states (I feel very nervous due to the recklessness of some citizens who don’t adhere to disease prevention measures). It indicating that there is not enough awareness among the study sample of the danger of the spread of diseases in the absence of adherence to health measures by citizens, and lack of guidance and direction by the official and concerned organizations and associations to disseminate health awareness in Yemeni society.

Summary: Future anxiety among students of Sana’a University and several private universities in the fields of study in general: Tables 3-6 arranged in descending order of importance, and Table 7 is illustrating this.

It is clear from Table 7 that the field of political anxiety came in first with a mean of (24.78), a standard deviation of (3.056), and a high level of anxiety. In the second place comes health anxiety with a mean of (24.24), a standard deviation of (2.999) and a high level of anxiety, while economic anxiety comes in third place with a mean of (22.85), a standard deviation of (3.100), and a high level of anxiety, and in the fourth place is social anxiety, with a mean of (21.93), a standard deviation of (3.053), and a high level of anxiety. Thus, the total degree of future anxiety has obtained an arithmetic mean of (9.405), a standard deviation of (9.405), and a high level of anxiety.

It is also clear that there is anxiety among the members of the study sample about the future with a high anxiety level, which is considered a very natural reaction. Everyone lives with fear and panic due to the conditions that Yemen is going through, such as internal conflicts, the ongoing war, cramped living conditions, security and health conditions, and psychological stresses. Besides, openness to the outside world and the comparison youth make when they see their peers of other countries made them feel more anxious about their future. The results of this study are consistent with the results of most studies that addressed the issue of future anxiety.

In the same context, Desouki believes that the most important causes that lead to future anxiety lie in political, economic, and social pressures of life, negative self-concept, feelings of fear, pessimism, insecurity, lack of job opportunities, death of a loved one, failure to adapt, inability of decisionmaking and alienation. These undesirable events are the main causes of future anxiety [2].

The second objective: to identify the differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the gender variable: (males - females).

It is evident from Table 8 that there are differences between males and females in the field of political anxiety at the level of significance (0.04) in favor of females. By biological nature, females are more sensitive, emotional, and easily affected. They got terrified by hearing the sounds of war, witnessing bloodshed and political changes while there are no differences in the rest of the fields and the overall score of the scale. This result can be explained that both males and females suffer from the same problems and pressures, especially in this age stage. They are somehow similar in traits and growth and cannot achieve their dreams and goals simply and easily, if not impossible. Therefore, there are no differences between their pessimistic view toward the uncertain future. This result came in agreement with the study of Al-Adl, Al-Taher, and Hassan. On the other hand, the researcher disagrees with the study of Abdul Hafeez and Desouki, which showed that there are differences according to gender [2,5,6,9].

Table 8: T-test of arithmetic mean and standard deviation of anxiety future fields by gender variable.
Field Gender Number Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Degree of Freedom Value (T) Level of Significance 
Social Males 180 21.68 3.046 318 .770 .381
Insignificant
Females 140 22.26 3.043
Economical Males 180 22.68 3.063 318 1.194 .275
Insignificant
Females 140 23.07 3.143
Political Males 180 24.24 3.142 318 4.272 .040
Significant
Females 140 25.46 2.809
Health Males 180 23.97 3.048 318 .039 .843
Insignificant
Females 140 24.58 2.911
Total Males 180 92.58 9.569 318 .326 .568
Insignificant
Females 140 95.36 8.983

The third objective: To identify the differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the variable of marital status: (married/single). obvious from Table 9 that there are differences according to the marital status variable (married - single) in the field of political anxiety at the level of significance (0.04) in favor of the married members. The researcher believes that, according to the current circumstances that Yemen is going through, the individual who is responsible for a family is under great pressure in terms of his constant and tiring quest to secure the lowest standards of living for his children. He is constantly thinking about the fate of his family if something bad happens to him. On the contrary, the rest of the fields and the overall score of the scale have no differences. This result can be explained by that anxiety is shared by everyone, whether the individual is married or single, there is no escape from facing social pressures and difficult political, economic, and academic problems, which will make him/ her more anxious about the future. Therefore, her/his view will be pessimistic, due to the constant increase in problems that complicate life and increase its requirements, which will burden them. In turn, this is reflected in an increase of anxiety about the future, especially the single young man will be more anxious than the married man due to his constant thinking of marriage, forming a family, settling down, and career. worrying and working. The result of this study differs from the result of Muhammad's study, which showed that there are differences according to the variable of marital status in favor of the single persons.

Table 9: T-test for the difference between the arithmetic mean and the standard deviation of the sample scores on the fields of the future anxiety scale according to the marital status variable (married-single).
Field Marital Status Number Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Degree of Freedom Value (T) Level of Significance 
Social Married 320 22.14 3.119 318  
.770
.381
Insignificant
Single 320 21.69 2.962
Economic Married 320 22.90 3.209 318 1.194 .275
Insignificant
Single 320 22.79 2.970
Political Married 320 25.00 3.218 318 4.272 .040
indicative
Single 320 24.50 2.833
Health Married 320 24.45 2.958 318 .039 .843
Insignificant
Single 320 23.98 3.039
Total As A Whole Married 320 94.48 9.478 318 .326 .568
Single 320 92.96 9.280

Fourth objective: To identify the differences in the level of future anxiety among the study sample according to the economic status variable: (low - medium - good).

It is clear from Table 10 that there are no differences according to the three economic status variables (low - medium - good) at the level of the sub-fields and the total score of the future anxiety scale, so each of them suffers from future anxiety with similar close degrees because Yemeni society is experiencing the same events and political repercussions and stifling economic distress. Since university students are part of society, and the majority of them, whether their university is official or private, are from families with low and medium economic levels, which may impose more difficulties in terms of securing and providing study requirements. Their inability to pay the study tuition and fees impedes the achievement of their goals and ambitions. Furthermore, the low standard of living of many families forces them to make their children drop school and look for work to help them, and sometimes those children may work along with their studies to cover their school expenses, all of which affects the student's life and view towards the future.

Table 10: ANOVA test for analysis of variance to find out the differences for the sample scores on the fields of the future anxiety scale according to the economic status variable (low-medium-high).
Field Variation Source Sums of squares Degree of Freedom Mean Squares Value
" f "
 Level of Significance 
       Social Between Groups 7.166647 2 3.583 .383 .682
Insignificant
Within Groups 2966.455 317 9.358
Total 2973.622 319  
  Economic Between Groups 1.504 2 .752 .078 .925
Insignificant
Within Groups 3063.296 317 9.663
Total 3064.800 319  
Political Between Groups 1.799 2 .899 .096 .909
Insignificant
Within Groups 2978.001 317 9.394
Total 2979.800 319      
  Health Between Groups 13.959 2 6.980 .775 .462
Insignificant
Within Groups 2855.991 317 9.009
Total 2869.950 319  
Total as a whole Between Groups 44.810 2 22.405 .252 .777
Insignificant
Within Groups 28174.987 317 88.880
Total 28219.797 319  

This result agrees with some of the results of the Al-Rifa’ai study and differs from the study of Al-Jindi and Desouki, which indicated that there are differences according to the economic level variable in favor of low-income people.

Fifth objective: to identify the differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the variable of residence (rural-urban).

It is clear from Table 11 that there are no differences according to the variable of residence (rural-urban) at the level of the sub-fields and the total score of the future anxiety scale. The researcher sees that there is no difference indicates the existence of homogeneity and similarity in anxiety and suffering among rural and urban students alike due to life stressors resulting from the current conditions and prevalence of the Coronavirus. This means future anxiety is a psychological state that affects all individuals, regardless of their gender, social level, and place of residence. The result of this study differs from the results of the Al-Rifa’ai study, which indicated that there are differences according to the rural and urban place of residence variable in favor of the rural population at the level of the total degree and all its fields.

Table 11: T-test for the difference between the arithmetic mean and the standard deviation of the sample scores on the fields of the future anxiety scale according to the residence variable (rural-urban).
Field Residence Number Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Degree of Freedom Value (T) Level of Significance 
Social Rural 77 21.84 3.289 318 1.144 .286
Insignificant
Urban 243 21.96 2.981
Economic Rural 77 22.84 3.301 318 .150 .698
Insignificant
Urban 243 22.85 3.040
Political Rural 77 24.91 3.200 318 .025 .874
Insignificant
Urban 243 24.73 3.015
Health Rural 77 24.57 3.135 318 .432 .512
Insignificant
Urban 243 24.13 2.954
Total As A Whole Rural 77 94.17 9.937 318 .477 .490
Insignificant
Urban 243 93.68 9.249

Sixth objective: To identify the differences in the level of future anxiety and its fields among the study sample according to the university variable (Sana'a University - private universities).

Table 12 shows that there are differences according to the variable of the university (Sana'a governmental university - private universities) in the field of political future anxiety in favor of Sana'a University. There are no differences in the rest of the sub-fields and the total score of the future anxiety scale. Therefore, each of them suffers from future anxiety in close or homogeneous degrees.

Table 12: T-test for the difference between the arithmetic mean and the standard deviation of the sample scores of the fields of future anxiety scale according to the university variable (Sanaa University-private universities).
Field University Type Number Arithmetic Mean Standard Deviation Degree of Freedom Value (T) Level of Significance 
Social Sana’a University 200 22.06 3.084 318 .430 .512
Insignificant
Private Universities 120 21.73 3.001
Economical Sana’a University 200 22.80 3.169 318 .724 .395
Insignificant
Private Universities 120 22.93 2.992
Political Sana’a University 200 24.79 3.269 318 5.773 .017
Indicative
Private Universities 120 24.75 2.677
Health Sana’a University 200 24.28 2.918 318 1.078 .300
Insignificant
Private Universities 120 24.17 3.142
Total as a Whole Sana’a University 200 93.93 9.407 318 .003 .953
Insignificant
Private Universities 120 93.58 9.438

This can be explained by the fact that the reality of Yemeni society does not differ according to the university, as all members of Yemeni society live with the same experiences, challenges, and political, economic, and social conditions caused by war and internal conflict.

Sana’a University has a special case, as it has been closed for intermittent periods due to political changes Since 2011 and its location near the sit-in squares, it was transformed into a military garrison.

After the 2015 war, it was closed for a period as a result of aerial bombardment, like other public universities, unlike private universities, then resumed studies irregularly in difficult conditions and fear of bombing, non-existent operational budget, and deprivation of salaries which led to the absence of some professors and the withdrawal of several students. This has a role in causing manifestations of anxiety, tension, fear, and worry about the future of their dreams, and what will happen to them in the future if the situation continues for a long time at the level of all fields of life. The university students segment is part of this society, and therefore they undergo similar levels of anxiety about the future regardless of the university they belong to.

Results and Discussion

Future anxiety

Zaleski defined the concept of future anxiety as a “state of apprehension, fear, uncertainty, and fear of undesired changes expected to occur in the future, and there may be a threat that something unreal is going to happen to the individual when he/she is extremely anxious about the future”. He considers it as a state of grave tension that may occur by its threats and that something truly catastrophic is about to happen to the individual [14].

Zaleski operationally defined future anxiety as the total score obtained by a student on the future anxiety scale of the study.

Theoretical framework and previous studies

Future anxiety: Future anxiety appears as a psychological trait due to the accelerating social changes which society is going through that are related to many community fields including social, economic, political fields [15]. Al-Mashiakhi indicates that the pressures of life are one of the most important factors causing future anxiety, especially in this era that is going through social, economic, and political transformations that made a change in the lifestyles of individuals [16]. It is reflected in their values, behaviors, and patterns of thinking, especially university students, as university life is full of disturbing circumstances, whether at the academic or social level, which affects the student's behavior, pose a threat to him and hinders the normal progress of his/her daily life.

There are many reasons for university students' anxiety, one of which is that university students are going through a stage called identity recognition. Erikson called this stage (an identity crisis) because obtaining a sense of identity is very important for adults' decision-making. A margin for conflict between College Students' experience and social needs and demands will continue to exist, resulting in anxiety [17].

Causes of future anxiety

Future anxiety arises due to the individual’s irrational thoughts and conceptions that may force him to misinterpret the reality, situations, and events happening around him. This interpretation may create a state of fear, and the constant stream of concerns that make him lose control over his emotions and real and rational thoughts. This will lead to a state of insecurity and psychological instability [15]. Al-Qadhi indicated that individual’s causes of future anxiety can be attributed [18].

• Inability to achieve goals and aspirations.
• Having a sense that life is not worthwhile.
• Lack of ability to predict future and inadequate information for new conceptualizations about future life, chaos, and distortion of current thoughts.
• Failure to separate between his aspirations and reality-based expectations.
• The sense of alienation or not belonging to his family and society.
• Inability to adapt to his problems.
• The sense of insecurity or being torn apart.
• The existence of a problem faced by his parents or caregivers is represented by their inability to solve his problems.
• Family disintegration or break-ups.

It is witnessed in the recent period of prolonged war years in Yemen that the pessimism level of individuals of all ages related to anxiety about the future has increased due to the prolongation of the war and uncertainty of the future due to life hardships, challenges, and tensions that they witnessed on all life aspect including health, society, economics, and politics.

Symptoms of future anxiety

Psychiatric symptoms: Extreme fear, inability to pay attention or focus, the anticipation of misfortunes, lingering sense of defeat, depression, lack of self-confidence, helplessness, uncertainty, insecurity and instability, withdrawal from confrontation, nostophobia [19].

Physical symptoms: These symptoms can be noticed by the biological and physiological reactions that appear on the individual such as shortness of breath, dry mouth, cold extremities, hypertension, fainting, muscle tension, indigestion. Anxiety does not make the individual lose his sense of reality, but it prevents him from practicing his daily activities and realizing the irrationality of his actions. In severe cases, the individual will spend most of his time trying to overcome his fears, but in vain [20].

Psychologists' views on anxiety in general and future anxiety in particular: Scientists’ explanations of anxiety varied. “Adler” believes that it arises due to psychological insecurity that occurs as a result of the individual’s feeling of inferiority, regardless of its kind, whether physical or moral [21].

Freud explained that anxiety stems from an individual's fear of social disapproval or his superego horney sees anxiety as a reaction to a mysterious and unknown danger, as the danger may be self-initiated or delusional. There are three sources of anxiety: a feeling of helplessness, a feeling of hostility, and a feeling of isolation [22]. Likewise, she believes that anxiety, regardless of its sources and forms, stems from one source. This source is the individual’s sense that he is helpless, fragile, and cannot understand him and others, and lives in a hostile world, full of contradictions [7].

People with humanitarian views" believe that anxiety does not stem from the individual's past, but from anxiety about the future and events it may carry that may endanger the individual's existence and humanity. Anxiety arises from what the individual expected that might happen [23].

As for "Pavlov and Watson", they see that anxiety plays a double role, it is, on one hand, a stimulus and on the other hand, it is a source of reinforcement, by reducing anxiety. Therefore, punishment leads to the cessation of undesired behavior, and thus generates anxiety, which is a negative reinforcement trait resulting in behavior modification. Perhaps the most important thing that behaviorists emphasized is that anxiety is a conditioned response to pain that determines the source of anxiety in the individual [24].

According to Alice Wothorne, the cause of anxiety stems from the individual’s exaggeration of the feeling of threat and imagining it happen, preceded by patterns of wrong thinking patterns and cognitive distortions [25].

Other main factors cannot be ignored. These factors have a significant role in the occurrence of anxiety, the most important of which are:

The genetic factor: Some studies confirm that the genetic factor may be one of the predisposing factors for anxiety, as it was found that anxiety exists in identical twins with 50%,

The psychological factor: The psychological traits of the individual have a role in the emergence of anxiety, so the one who feels fear, threat, guilt, despair, or has psychological tension, will be more likely to develop anxiety than other people.

Social factors: Social factors play a vital role in the emergence of anxiety. Family problems and conflicts, parents’ harsh ways of dealing, and lack of social harmony, and failure in marriage, study, or work will make them more prone to anxiety [26-29].

Previous studies

After reviewing the literature related to the subject of the study, the following studies were obtained: In the study of Momani and Na’aim the researchers aimed to reveal the level of future anxiety among students of community colleges in the Galilee region. The sample consisted of (439) male and female students. The results showed that the level of future anxiety among the sample members was high, as the economic field highly ranked first. There were differences in total future anxiety levels according to gender variable in favor of males. There were also differences in the social and economic fields of the gender variable.

Abdul Hafeez conducted a study aimed at identifying the role of psychological counseling in reducing future anxiety among students of Al- Neelain University. The sample consisted of 271 male and female students. The results showed that the sample members suffer from a high level of future anxiety, and there are differences according to the variable Gender in favor of males.

The researcher A’ajal aimed in her study to identify the level of future anxiety among university youth at the Faculty of Arts, Sebha University. The sample consisted of 139 male and female students. The results showed that the level of future anxiety among the sample members is above average in all fields of the scale, and there are differences according to the gender variable in the social and family field. Moreover, there are no differences according to the gender variable in psychological, economic, and health fields, and the total score of the scale.

Bin Al-Taher study, aimed at examining the nature of the relationship between the sources of psychological stress and future anxiety among graduate students. The sample consisted of 120 male and female students. The results showed that there is a relationship between the sources of psychological stress and future anxiety, and there are no differences according to the gender variable in future anxiety.

Al-Rifa’ai study aimed to identify the level of future anxiety among university students in light of the spread of the Coronavirus. The sample consisted of 300 male and female students from the Lebanese University and other private universities. The results showed a high level of future anxiety among the sample members. As for the level of the sub-dimensions, it is ranging from medium to high, for the economic and social fields, the levels were high, while the levels of the psychological and health field reached an average score. It was also found that there are differences between males and females in favor of females. In addition, there are differences between Lebanese and private university students in favor of private university students. On the other hand, there are no differences between those with middle economic status from those with good economic status at the level of the total score, except for their peers with poor economic status who have a high level of future anxiety. There are also differences according to the rural and urban residence variable in favor of the rural population at the level of the total score and all its fields.

Al-Abyadh, Muhammad Hassan the study aimed to identify Internet addiction and its relationship to future anxiety among a sample of 160 students from Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University. The results of the study revealed that 15.6% of the students with a high level of future anxiety. There is a positive correlation between Internet addiction and future anxiety among university students. There are differences between the first and advanced levels in Internet addiction and future anxiety in favor of first-level students.

Abu-Alkeshek study also aimed to identify the level of future anxiety among Jordanian university students during the Corona pandemic. The sample consisted of 321 male and female students from public universities in Northern Jordan. The results showed that the anxiety level of university students is high, and differences were found between males and females.

While the study of Al-Adl aimed to identify the correlation between posttraumatic stress and future anxiety after the Corona pandemic. The sample consisted of 412 male and female students from the Faculty of Education, Zagazig University. The results showed that there is a correlation between the degrees of dimensions Future Anxiety Scale and the Total Score. There are no differences between males and females in the degrees of the future anxiety scale dimensions and the total score.

Conclusion

1. The result of the study concluded that the level of future anxiety was generally high among the study sample in all areas of the quantum and total degree, and came in the first place the field of political anxiety, and in the second place the field of health anxiety, and in the third place the field of economic anxiety, and in the fourth place the field of social anxiety.

2. There are differences between males and females in the field of political anxiety at the level of significance (0.04) in favor of females.

3. There are differences according to the marital status variable (married - unmarried) in the field of political anxiety at the level of significance (0.04) in favor of the married

4. There are differences according to the university variable (Sana'a University governmental - private universities) in the field of political future concern in favor of Sana'a University.

Recommendations

Based on the previous studies and the results of the current study, the researcher recommends the following:

1. Conducting scientific seminars by university professors targeting university youth to raise their awareness and reduce their anxiety level, tension, irrational thinking about their future, and to explain to them that the period that Yemen is going through will not last forever, and job opportunities will be available soon.

2. The necessity of devoting more effort to improve the educational and psychological counseling at the university and working on opening a psychological counseling office that deals with students' problems.

3. Providing psychological and social support to university students, through implementing specialized programs, which may contribute to building a balanced harmonious personality capable to cope with the hardships of life?

4. Conducting further studies on future anxiety among other groups of society, in the light of variables and factors related to the increase in future anxiety to find elaborate solutions to these factors and causes.

References

Citation: Al‐Baddai, Nasser Ali and Mohammed Hasan Ali Al‐Abyadh.“ Future Anxiety among University Students in Light of the Corona Pandemic and War in Yemen.” Clin Schizophr Relat Psychoses 15S(2021). DOI: 10.3371/CSRP.ANMA.120621.

Copyright: © 2021 Al‐Baddai NA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.