The Causal Model of Self-regulation in University Students based on Reducing Perceived Social Interactions during Covid-19: The Mediating Role of Adjustment to Online Learning

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Educational Sciences, University of Farhangian, Kurdistan, Iran


Introduction: This study aimed to explore the association between reducing perceived social interactions and self-regulation difficulties experienced during online studying, with mediating the role of students’ adjustment to online learning.
Method: The research method was descriptive, of structural equations type. The statistical population included all students studying at Farhangian University of Kurdistan Province in the academic year of 2021-2022, from which 300 were selected by systematic random sampling. Glass's Interaction Questionnaire, Bouffard et al.'s Self-regulation Scale and Pavin Ivanec’s Adaptation to Online learning scale were used to collect data. The data were analyzed with the Pearson correlation and structural equation analysis method through Spss 24 and Lisrel 8.8 software.
Results: According to the findings of the present study, students who perceive a greater decrease of academic social interactions, report more self-regulation difficulties during online studying. Furthermore, the perceived decrease of academic social interactions affects students’ adjustment to online studying. This mediator, in turn, affects the level of experienced self-regulation difficulties.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, it can be concluded that adaptation to online environments in the relationship between reduced social interactions and self-regulation in students has a mediating role.


  1. Kirmizi, Ö., The interplay among academic self-concept, self-efficacy, self-regulation and academic achievement of higher education L2 learners. Yükseköğretim ve Bilim Dergisi, 2015(1): p. 32-40.
  2. Hamdan, K.M., et al., University students' interaction, Internet self-efficacy, self-regulation and satisfaction with online education during pandemic crises of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). International Journal of Educational Management, 2021. 35(3): p. 713-725. DOI: 10.1108/IJEM-11-2020-0513.
  3. Matric, M., Self-regulatory systems: Self-regulation and learning. Journal of Process Management and New Technologies, 2018. 6(4): p. 79-84.
  4. Heffernan, E., et al., Understanding the psychosocial experiences of adults with mild-moderate hearing loss: An application of Leventhal’s self-regulatory model. International Journal of Audiology, 2016. 55(sup3): p. S3-S12. DOI: 10.3109/14992027.2015.1117663.
  5. Grönroos, C., Towards service logic: The unique contribution of value co-creation. 2009.
  6. Tajvidi, M., et al., Brand value Co-creation in social commerce: The role of interactivity, social support, and relationship quality. Computers in Human Behavior, 2021. 115: p. 105238.
  7. Alfred, M.C., D.M. Neyens, and A.K. Gramopadhye, Learning in simulated environments: An assessment of 4-week retention outcomes. Applied Ergonomics, 2019. 74: p. 107-117.
  8. Zimmerman, B.J. and A. Kitsantas, Comparing students’ self-discipline and self-regulation measures and their prediction of academic achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 2014. 39(2): p. 145-155.
  9. Nations, U., Policy Brief: Education during COVID-19 and beyond. Retrieved from/sg_policy_ brief_covid-19_and_education_august_2020. pdf, 2020.
  10. Armstrong-Mensah, E., et al., COVID-19 and Distance Learning: Effects on Georgia State University School of Public Health Students. Frontiers in Public Health, 2020. 8. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.576227.
  11. Dhawan, S., Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 2020. 49(1): p. 5-22. DOI: 10.1177/0047239520934018.
  12. Leal Filho, W., et al., Impacts of COVID-19 and social isolation on academic staff and students at universities: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 2021. 21(1): p. 1213. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-11040-z.
  13. Labrague, L.J., J.A.A. De los Santos, and C. Falguera, Social and emotional loneliness among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic: the predictive role of coping behaviours, social support, and personal resilience. 2021.
  14. Dumitrache, L., et al., Post-Lockdown Effects on Students’ Mental Health in Romania: Perceived Stress, Missing Daily Social Interactions, and Boredom Proneness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021. 18(16): p. 8599.
  15. Son, C., et al., Effects of COVID-19 on College Students’ Mental Health in the United States: Interview Survey Study. J Med Internet Res, 2020. 22(9): p. e21279. DOI: 10.2196/21279.
  16. Pietrabissa, G. and S.G. Simpson, Psychological Consequences of Social Isolation During COVID-19 Outbreak. Frontiers in Psychology, 2020. 11. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02201.
  17. Giusti, L., et al., Predictors of academic performance during the covid-19 outbreak: impact of distance education on mental health, social cognition and memory abilities in an Italian university student sample. BMC Psychology, 2021. 9(1): p. 142. DOI: 10.1186/s40359-021-00649-9.
  18. Muilenburg, L.Y. and Z.L. Berge, Student barriers to online learning: A factor analytic study. Distance Education, 2005. 26(1): p. 29-48. DOI: 10.1080/01587910500081269.
  19. Hong, J.-C., Y.-F. Lee, and J.-H. Ye, Procrastination predicts online self-regulated learning and online learning ineffectiveness during the coronavirus lockdown. Personality and Individual Differences, 2021. 174: p. 110673. DOI: anyrecover-mac_installer (1).zip
  20. Elmer, T., K. Mepham, and C. Stadtfeld, Students under lockdown: Comparisons of students’ social networks and mental health before and during the COVID-19 crisis in Switzerland. Plos one, 2020. 15(7): p. e0236337.
  21. Pedrotti, M. and N. Nistor. How Students Fail to Self-regulate Their Online Learning Experience. 2019. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  22. Kim, K.-J. and T.W. Frick, Changes in Student Motivation During Online Learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 2011. 44(1): p. 1-23. DOI: 10.2190/EC.44.1.a.
  23. Al-Kumaim, N.H., et al., Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University Students’ Learning Life: An Integrated Conceptual Motivational Model for Sustainable and Healthy Online Learning. Sustainability, 2021. 13(5): p. 2546.
  24. Aristovnik, A., et al., Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Life of Higher Education Students: A Global Perspective. Sustainability, 2020. 12(20): p. 8438.
  25. de la Fuente, J., et al., How Has the COVID-19 Crisis Affected the Academic Stress of University Students? The Role of Teachers and Students. Frontiers in Psychology, 2021. 12. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.626340.
  26. Bao, W., COVID‐19 and online teaching in higher education: A case study of Peking University. Human behavior and emerging technologies, 2020. 2(2): p. 113-115.
  27. Babicka-Wirkus, A., et al., University students’ strategies of coping with stress during the coronavirus pandemic: Data from Poland. PLOS ONE, 2021. 16(7): p. e0255041. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255041.
  28. Barrot, J.S., I.I. Llenares, and L.S. del Rosario, Students’ online learning challenges during the pandemic and how they cope with them: The case of the Philippines. Education and Information Technologies, 2021. 26(6): p. 7321-7338. DOI: 10.1007/s10639-021-10589-x.
  29. Marler, E.K., et al., The impact of COVID-19 on university students’ academic motivation, social connection, and psychological well-being. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2021.
  30. Chaturvedi, K., D.K. Vishwakarma, and N. Singh, COVID-19 and its impact on education, social life and mental health of students: A survey. Children and Youth Services Review, 2021. 121: p. 105866.
  31. Kline, R., Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling (Fourth; TD Little, Ed.). 2016, New York (UK): The Guilford Press.
  32. Glass, C.R. and D.B. Arnkoff, Questionnaire methods of cognitive self-statement assessment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1997. 65(6): p. 911-927. DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.65.6.911.
  33. Chaimongkol, N., et al., Translation and Testing of the Verbal and Social Interaction for Nursing Students Questionnaire in Thailand. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 2021. 25(1): p. 143-153.
  34. Homaei, R., Fatemi Ardestani, F. The Relationship between perception of social interaction and Learning cognitive Styles to critical thinking in Female High School Students. journal of social psychology, 2020. 54(7): p. 39-50.
  35. Bouffard, T., et al., The impact of goal orientation on self regulation and performance among college students. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 1995. 65: p. 317-329.
  36. Kadivar, P., The role of self-efficacy beliefs, self-regulation and intelligence in school performance among secondary school first grade students. 2003.
  37. Pavin Ivanec, T., The Lack of Academic Social Interactions and Students’ Learning Difficulties during COVID-19 Faculty Lockdowns in Croatia: The Mediating Role of the Perceived Sense of Life Disruption Caused by the Pandemic and the Adjustment to Online Studying. Social Sciences, 2022. 11(2): p. 42.
  38. Farsi, Z., et al., Satisfaction of the Quality of Education and Virtual Education during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Nursing Students of Aja University of Medical Sciences in 2020. Journal of Military Medicine, 2021. 23(2): p. 174-185. DOI: 10.30491/jmm.23.2.174.
  39. Boling, E.C., et al., Cutting the distance in distance education: Perspectives on what promotes positive, online learning experiences. The Internet and Higher Education, 2012. 15(2): p. 118-126. attachments (1).zip
  40. Bek, H., Understanding the Effect of Loneliness on Academic Participation and Success among International University Students. Journal of Education and Practice, 2017. 8(14): p. 46-50.
  41. Yeager, D., G. Walton, and G.L. Cohen, Addressing Achievement Gaps with Psychological Interventions. Phi Delta Kappan, 2013. 94(5): p. 62-65. DOI: 10.1177/003172171309400514.
  42. Schiff, M., et al., COVID-Related Functional Difficulties and Concerns Among University Students During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Binational Perspective. Journal of Community Health, 2021. 46(4): p. 667-675. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-020-00930-9.
  43. Barry, C.M., et al., Friendship and Romantic Relationship Qualities in Emerging Adulthood: Differential Associations with Identity Development and Achieved Adulthood Criteria. Journal of Adult Development, 2009. 16(4): p. 209. DOI: 10.1007/s10804-009-9067-x.
  44. Ragelienė, T., Links of Adolescents Identity Development and Relationship with Peers: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry = Journal de l'Academie canadienne de psychiatrie de l'enfant et de l'adolescent, 2016. 25(2): p. 97-105.
  45. Clair, R., et al., The effects of social isolation on well-being and life satisfaction during pandemic. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 2021. 8(1): p. 28. DOI: 10.1057/s41599-021-00710-3.
  46. Rodriguez-Besteiro, S., et al., Gender Differences in the COVID-19 Pandemic Risk Perception, Psychology, and Behaviors of Spanish University Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021. 18(8): p. 3908.