Emotional Distress, Psychological Distress, and Hopelessness in School Teachers During COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Saima Parwez Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University
  • Zainab Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University
  • Sabeen Rahim Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University


Covid-19, hopelessness, emotional distress, psychological distress


Corona virus a high transmittable diseases which is became a global health threat, has drastic negative psychological impact on human mental health. Aim of the study was to investigate hopelessness, emotional distress, and psychological distress in school teachers during corona virus pandemic. A sample of hundred was taken from different private and government schools of Peshawar which is equally divided to male (n = 50), and female (n = 50). Beck hopelessness scale, perceived emotional distress inventory, and Kessler Psychological Distress Scale were administered to analyze the result. Result of the study shows positive correlation between emotional distress, and psychological distress, negative correlation between hopelessness and emotional distress, and hopelessness and psychological distress. Result also revealed significant difference between male and female scores and shows that male scored higher on Beck Hopelessness Scale, female scored higher on Perceived Emotional Distress Inventory and on Kessler Psychological Distress Sale.


Ahorsu, D. K., Lin, C. Y., Imani, V., Saffari, M., Griffiths, M. D., & Pakpour, A. H. (2022). The fear of COVID-19 Scale: Development and initial validation. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 20, 1537-1545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00270-8

Al-Hanawi, M. K., Mwale, M. L., Alshareef, N., Qattan, A. M., Angawi, K., Almubark, R., & Alsharqi, O. (2020). Psychological distress amongst health workers and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 13, 733-742. https://doi.org/10.2147/rmhp.s264037.

American psychological association. (n.d.). APA dictionary of psychology. https://dictionary.apa.org/hopelessness.

Andrew, G., Slade, T. (2001). Interpreting scores on Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (k10). Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 25, 494-497.

Arvidsdotter, T., Marklund, B., Kylén, S., Taft, C., & Ekman, I. (2015). Understanding persons with psychological distress in primary health care. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 30(4), 687-694. https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.12289.

Bao, Y., Sun, Y., Meng, S., Shi, J., & Lu, L. (2020). 2019-nCoV epidemic: Address mental healthcare to empower society. The Lancet, 395 (10224), e37–e38. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30309-3.

Beck, A. T., Weissman, A., Lester, D., & Trexler, L. (1974). The measurement of pessimism: The Hopelessness Scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42(6), 861–865. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0037562.

Beck, A. T., & Steer, R. A. (1988). Manual for the Beck Hopelessness Scale. Psychological Corp.

Cacioppo, J. T., Hawkley, L. C., & Thisted, R. A. (2010). Perceived social isolation makes me sad: 5-year cross-lagged analyses of loneliness and depressive symptomatology in the Chicago health, aging, and social relations study. Psychology and aging, 25(2), 453-63. https://doi.org/ 10.1037/a0017 216

Drapeau, A., Marchand, A., & Beaulieu Pre´vost, D. (2012). Epidemiology of psychological distress. In LAbate, L. (Eds.). (2012). Mental illnesses–understanding, prediction and control (pp. 155-34). In Tech. https://doi.org/10.5772/30872.

Feng, Lin-sen., Dong, Zheng-jiao., Yan, Ruo-yu., Wu, Xiao-qian., Zhang, Li; Ma, Jun., & Zeng, Yong (2020). Psychological distress in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic: Preliminary development of an assessment scale. Psychiatry Research, 291, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres. 2020.113202.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (4th ed.). Sage Publishers.

Fiorillo, A., & Gorwood, P. (2020). The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and implications for clinical practice. European Psychiatry, 63(1), e32. https://doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020. 35

Franza, F., Basta, R., Pellegrino, F., Solomita, B., & Fasano, V. (2020). The role of fatigue of compassion, burnout and hopelessness in healthcare: Experience in the time of COVID-19 outbreak. Psychiatria Danubina, 32(suppl. 1), 10-14.

Freeston, M. H., Rhéaume, J., Letarte, H., Dugas, M. J., & Ladouceur, R. (1994). Why do people Worry. Pers Individ Dif, 17(6), 791-802. https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(94)90048-5.

Forbes, M. K., & Krueger, R. F. (2019). The Great Recession and mental health in the United States. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(5), 900-913. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702619859337.

Frasquilho, D., Matos, M. G., Salonna, F., Guerreiro, D., Storti, C. C., Gaspar, T., & Caldas-de-Almeida, J. M. (2015). Mental health outcomes in times of economic recession: a systematic literature review. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1-40.

French, M. T., Mortensen, K., & Timming, A. R. (2020). Psychological Distress and Corona virus Fears during the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States. National Library of Medicines, 23(3), 93-100.

Gautam, K., Adhikari, R. P., Gupta, A. S., Shresstha, R. K., Koirala, P., & Koirala, S. (2020). Self-reported psychological distress during the COVID-19 outbreak in Nepal: Findings from an online survey. BMC Psychology, 8(127). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-00497-z

Holy Qur'an. (A. Y. Ali, Trans.). (2001). Wordsworth.

Hacimusalar, Y., Kahve, A. C., Yasar, A. B., & Aydin, M. S. (2020). Anxiety and hopelessness levels in COVID-19 pandemic: A comparative study of healthcare professionals and other community sample in Turkey. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 129, 181-188. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. jpsychires.2020.07.024

Jaarsveld, J.M.V., (2020). The effects of COVID-19 among the elderly population: A case for closing the digital divide. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.577427

Juchnowicz, D., Baj, J., Forma, A., Karakula, K., Sitarz, E., Bojucki, J., & Juchnowicz, D.H., (2021). The Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the well-being of Polish students: The risk factors of the emotional distress during COVID-19 lockdown. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10, 944. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10050944

Lauxmann, M. L., Santucci, N. E., & Autrán-Gómez, A. M. (2020). The SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Outbreak. International Brazjurol, 46(1). 6-18. https://doi:10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2020.S101.

Lee, A. S., (2020). Coronavirus anxiety: A brief mental health screener for covid-19 related anxiety. Taylor & Francis online, 44, 393-401. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1748481

Liu, J., Liao, X., Qian, S., Yuan, J., Wang, F., & Liu, Y., (2020). A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person to person transmission: A study of a family cluster. Lancet, 395, 14-23.

Man, M. A., Toma, C., Motoc, N. S., Necrelescu, O. L., Bondor, C. I., Chis, A. F., & Rajnoveanu, R. M. (2020). Disease Perception and Coping with Emotional Distress During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey among Medical Staff. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(13), 4899. https://doi:10.3390/ijerph17134899

Marchand, A., Demers, A., & Durand, P. (2005). Do occupation and work conditions really matter? A longitudinal analysis of psychological distress experiences among Canadian workers. Social Health Illn, 27, 602-27.

Martin, R. A., & Lefcourt, H. M. (1983). Sense of humor as a moderator of the relation between stressors and moods. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(6), 1313-1324. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022- 3514.45.6.1313

Margetic, B., Peraica, T., Stojanovic, K., & Ivanec, D. (2021). Predictors of emotional distress during covid-19 pandemic; a Croatian study. Personality and Individual Differences, 175, 110691. https://doi.org/10.10 16/ j.paid.2021.110691.

Merriam-Webster (1982). Merriam Webster.com dictionary. https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/emotional%20 distress.

Montemurro, N. (2020). The emotional impact of COVID-19: From medical staff to common people. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 87, 23-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.03.032

Moscoso, M. S., & Reheiser, E. C. (2010). Construct validity of the emotional distress inventory in patients with cancer. Ansiedad Estrés, 16 (1), 83-94.

Maziti, E., & Mujuru, A. (2020). Level of hopelessness during covid-19 imposed lockdown. Business Excellence and Management, 10(5), 155-167.

Pouwer, F., Wijnhoven, H. A. H., Ujcic-Voortman, J. K., de Wit, M., Schram, M. T., Baan, C. A., & Snoek, F. J. (2012). Ethnic aspects of emotional distress in patients with diabetes - the Amsterdam Health Monitor Study. Diabetic Medicine, 30(1), e25-e31. https://doi.org/10. 1111/dme.12031.

Qiu J., Shen B., Zhao M., Wang Z., Xie B., & Xu, Y. (2020) A nationwide survey of psychological distress among Chinese people in the COVID-19 epidemic: Implications and policy recommendations. General psychiatry, 33(2). e100213. doi:10.1136/gpsych-2020-100213.

Rahman, M. A., Hoque, N., Alif, S. M., Salehin, M., Islam, S. M. S., Banik, B., ... & Cross, W. (2020). Factors associated with psychological distress, fear and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. Globalization and health, 16(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1186/ s12992-020-00624-w.

Sanchez-teruel, D., robles-bello, M. A., & Valencia-Naranjo, N. (2021). Psychological strengths protect college students confined by COVID-19 to emotional distress? The role of gender. Personality and individual differences, 171. 110507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110507.

Saricali, M., Satici, S. A., Satici, B., Gocet-Tekin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2020). Fear of COVID-19, mindfulness, humor, and hopelessness: A multiple mediation analysis. International journal of mental health and addiction, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00419-5

Shanahan, L., Steinhoff, A., Bechtiger, L., Murray, A. L., Nivette, A., Hepp, U., & Eisner, M. (2020). Emotional distress in young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence of risk and resilience from a longitudinal cohort study. Psychological Medicine, 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1017/ s003329172000241x.

Talib, A., & Mahmood, K. (2015). Stress and hopelessness among caregivers of life threatening illnesses. Research on Humanities, and Social Sciences, 5(9), 2224-5766.

Wang, H., Xia, Q., Xiong, Z., Li, Z., Xiang, W., Yuan, Y., & Li, Z. (2020). The psychological distress and coping styles in the early stages of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic in the general mainland Chinese population: A web-based survey. PLOS ONE, 15(5), e0233410. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233410.

Yan, L., & Duan. (2020). The relationship between perceived stress and emotional distress during the covid-19 outbreak: Effects of boredom proneness and coping style. Journal of anxiety disorder, 77, 102328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102328.

Yu, H., Li, M., Li, Z., Xiang, W., Yuan, Y., Liu, Y., ... & Xiong, Z. (2020). Coping style, social support and psychological distress in the general Chinese population in the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic. BMC psychiatry, 20(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02826-3