Impact of Perceived Academic Stress and Depression on Self Efficacy Beliefs among University Students during Online Learning in Peninsula, Malaysia

  • Mutiu Salami Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
  • Rahmattullah Khan Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
  • Muhammed Yusuf Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
  • Asma Perveen Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
  • Mohammed Y.M. Mai Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia
Keywords: Depression, Online Learning, Self-Efficacy, Academic Stress, University Students


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new challenge has developed specifically among students faced with online learning. The challenge that arises from this type of learning is that the students faced some uncertainties and negative emotional states. This study examined the impact of perceived academic stress and depression on self-efficacy beliefs among university students studying online. One hundred twenty-three participants from two public Universities in Peninsula Malaysia participated through an online google form, which consists of three instruments which are Perception of Academic Stress Scale (PASS), General Self-efficacy (GSE), as well as Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). Findings from Pearson correlation revealed a low negative correlation between general self-efficacy and stress (r = -.269, p < 0.01). On the other hand, the result of a simple linear regression between self-efficacy and perceived academic stress was significant with B = -2.30, p < 0.05. Students with higher levels of academic stress tend to experience depressive symptoms, while self-efficacy was a predictor of perceived academic stress. Considering the current unpredictable pandemic situation, with support from school psychologists and counselors, students are expected to heighten their cognitive drives and beliefs, including the motivation to overcome the challenges inherent in online learning.


Download data is not yet available.


Aktekin, M., Karaman, T., Senol, Y.Y., Erdem, S., Erengin, H., & Akaydin, M. (2001). Anxiety, depression and stressful life events among medical students: A prospective study in Antalya, Turkey. Medical Education. 35, 12–17.

Alemany-Arrebola I., Rojas-Ruiz G., Granda-Vera J., & Mingorance-Estrada Á., C. (2020). Influence of COVID-19 on the Perception of Academic Self-Efficacy, State Anxiety, and Trait Anxiety in College Students. Frontiers in Psychology. 11:570017. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.570017

American Psychological Association .(2020). Student mental health during and after COVID-19: How can schools identify youth who need support? Retrieved from

Aristovnik, A., Kerzič, D., Ravselj, D., Tomazevič, N., & Umek, L. (2020). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on life of higher education students: A global perspective. Retrieved from DOI:

Arslan, N. (2017). Investigating the relationship between educational stress and emotional self-efficacy. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(10), 1736-1740. DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2017.051010

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191–215. DOI:

Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 37,(2), 122–147. DOI:

Bandura, A. (1995). Exercise of personal and collective efficacy in changing societies. In A. Bandura (Ed), Self-efficacy in changing societies. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Bandura, A. (1999). Social cognitive theory of personality. In L. A. Pervin & O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 154–196). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Bedewy, D., & Gabriel, A. (2015). Examining perceptions of academic stress and its sources among university students: The perception of academic stress scale. Health Psychology Open, 30(2), 1-9. DOI: 10.1177/2055102915596714

Bruffaerts, R., Mortier, P., Kiekens, G., Auerbach, R. P., Cuijpers, P., Demyttenaere, K., & Kessler, R. C. (2018). Mental health problems in college freshmen: Prevalence and academic functioning. Journal of Affective Disorders. 225,97–103.

Burgess, S., Sievertsen, H., H. (2020). Schools, skills, and learning: The impact of COVID-19 on education. Retrieved from

Chandra, Y. (2021), "Online education during COVID-19: perception of academic stress and emotional intelligence coping strategies among college students", Asian Education and Development Studies, 10, 2, 229-238. DOI:

Crawford, J., Cayley, C., Lovibond, P., Wilson, P., & Hartley, C. (2011). Percentile norms and accompanying interval estimates from an Australian general adult population sample for self-report mood scales (BAI, BDI, CRSD, CES-D, DASS, DASS-21, STAI-X, STAI-Y, SRDS, and SRAS). Australian Psychologist, 46, 3-14. DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-9544.2010.00003.x

Eldredge, L. K., Markham, C. M., Kok, G., Ruiter, R. A., & Parcel, G. S. (2016). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Honicke, T., & Broadbent, J. (2016). The relation of academic self-efficacy to university student academic performance: a systematic review. Education Research Review, 17, 63–84. DOI: 10.1016/j.edurev.2015.11.002

Ibrahim, A., Kelly, S., Adams, C., & Glazebrook. (2013). A systematic review of studies of depression prevalence in university students. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(3), 391–400. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.11.015

Lanin, D. G., Guyll, M., Cornish, M. A., Vogel, D. L., and Madon, S. (2019). The importance of counseling self-efficacy: physiologic stress in student helpers. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 33(2), 1–11. DOI: 10.1080/87568225.2018.1424598

Lovibond, S. H., & Lovibond, P. (1995). Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (2nd rd.) Sydney, NSW: Psychology Foundation Monograph.

Mishra, L., Gupta, T., & Shree, A. (2020). Online teaching-learning in higher education during lockdown period of COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Educational Research Open 1. 100012 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedro.2020.100012

Nelwati, D., Mckenna, L., Plummer, V. (2012). Indonesian student nurses’ perceptions of stress in clinical learning: A phenomenological study. Journal of Nursing Educational Practise, 3(5), 56–65. DOI: 10.5430/jeep.v3n5p56

Musa, R., & Aidid, E. M. (2020). Psychometric properties of the depression anxiety stress scale 21-item (DASS-21) Malay version among a big sample population of non-Malays in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Psychiatry, 29, 1

Sahin, F., & Çetin, F. (2017). The mediating role of general self-efficacy in the relationship between the big five personality traits and perceived stress: A weekly assessment study. Psychological Studies, 62(1), 35–46. DOI: 10.1007/s12646-016-0382-6

Schwarzer, R., & Jerusalem, M. (1995). Generalized Self-Efficacy scale. In J. Weinman, S. Wright, & M. Johnston (Eds.), Measures in health psychology: A user’s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs (pp. 35-37). Windsor, UK: NFER-NELSON.

Sundarasen, S., Chinna, K., Kamaludin, K., Nurunnabi, M., Mohammad Baloch, G., Khoshaim, H. B., Abid Hossain, S. F., & Sukayt, A. (2020). Psychological Impact of COVID-19 and Lockdown among University Students in Malaysia: Implications and Policy Recommendations. International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health. 17, 6206; DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17176206

Torres, J., B. & Solberg, V. S. H. (2001). Role of Self-Efficacy, Stress, Social Integration, and Family Support in Latino College Student Persistence and Health. Journal of Vocational Behaviour 59(1):53-63. DOI:10.1006/jvbe.2000.1785

Zumbrunn, S., Broda, M., Varier, S., and Conklin, S. (2019). Examining the multidimensional role of self-efficacy for writing on student writing self-regulation and grades in elementary and high school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(2). DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12315

How to Cite
Salami, M., Rahmattullah Khan, Muhammed Yusuf, Asma Perveen, & Mohammed Y.M. Mai. (2021). Impact of Perceived Academic Stress and Depression on Self Efficacy Beliefs among University Students during Online Learning in Peninsula, Malaysia. International Journal of Social Learning (IJSL), 1(3), 260-269.