The Impact of COVID-19 Risk Perception on College Students' Positive Psychological Capital: the Role of Psychological Resilience and Social Support


  • Jinhui Ning

    School of Economics and Management, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, 071000, China

  • Shi Yin

    School of Economics and Management, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, 071000, China

  • Xiaoyang Zhang

    School of Economics and Management, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, 071000, China



In order to explore the relationship between COVID-19 risk perception and positive psychological capital in college students, this study investigates the mediating role of psychological resilience and the moderating role of social support. Methods: In this study, 586 college students were surveyed by COVID-19 Risk Perception Scale, Positive Psychological Capital Questionnaire, Chinese Version of Resilience Scale and Social Support Scale. Results: (1) There is a significant negative correlation between COVID-19 risk perception and positive psychological capital, that is, COVID-19 risk perception can significantly and negatively predict the positive psychological capital of college students. (2) Psychological resilience plays a mediating role between risk perception and positive psychological capital. (3) Social support plays a weakening role in the negative prediction of risk perception on positive psychological capital. Conclusions: COVID-19 risk perception not only directly reduces positive psychological capital, but also affects positive psychological capital of college students through psychological resilience; social support can adjust the negative impact of risk perception on positive psychological capital. This study reveals the relationship between COVID-19 risk perception and college students' positive psychological capital and its mechanism, which has positive enlightenment significance for improving college students' mental health status and better promoting self-regulation during major public health events.


COVID-19, Risk perception, Positive psychological capital, Psychological resilience, Family upbringing, College students


[1] Tang, Y.M., Yang, X., 2023. Research on college students' positive mental health education under the background of COVID-19 pneumonia pandemic – Based on the perspective of positive psychology. Research on Ideological Education. 2, 135–139. (in Chinese).

[2] Li, X.Y., Fei, L.P., Zhang, Y.P., 2008. Study on negative life events and suicidal behavior. Chinese Journal Of Neuropsychiatric Diseases. 3, 156–160. (in Chinese).

[3] Wu, Z.Z., Rong, S., Duan, W., 2020. The impact of negative life events on attempted suicide: the chain mediating effect of basic psychological needs and psychological pain. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology. 3, 503–507. (in Chinese). DOI:

[4] Yin, S., Zhang, N., 2021. Prevention schemes for future pandemic cases: mathematical model and experience of interurban multi-agent COVID-19 epidemic prevention. Nonlinear Dyn. 104, 2865–2900. DOI:

[5] Wang, C., Zhao, H., 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on anxiety in chinese university students. Frontiers in Psychology. 11) 1168. DOI:

[6] Chang, J., Yuan, Y., Wang, D., 2020. Mental Health Status and Its Influencing Factors among College Students during the Epic of Covid-19. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2, 171–176. DOI:

[7] Yin S., Ma L., Dong T., et al., 2022. Measuring the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on university resumption and suggestions for countermeasures. Front. Public Health. 10, 1037818. DOI:

[8] Luthans, F., Youssef, C.M., 2007. Emerging positive organizational behavior. Journal of Management. 3, 321–349. DOI:

[9] Luthans, B.C., Luthans, K.W., Jensen, S.M., 2012. The impact of business school students’ psychological capital on academic performance. Journal of Education for Business. 5, 253–259. DOI:

[10] Xiong, J.X., Xu, Y.Y., Gu, J.L., 2022. Research on mental health status and countermeasures of college students. Popular Literature and Art. 20, 136–138. (in Chinese).

[11] Shi, Y.Q., 2018. Investigation and Research on psychological capital status of medical students. Chinese Journal of Health Psychology. 3, 425–429. (in Chinese). DOI:

[12] Zhang, K., Zhang, S., Dong, Y.H., 2010. Positive psychological capital: measurement and its relationship with mental health. Psychology and behavior research. 1, 58–64. (in Chinese).

[13] Xiang, Z.Q., Ma, F.F., Zhou, M., 2022. The impact of learning motivation on learning burnout: the mediating role of learning engagement and the moderating role of personal growth initiative. Chinese Journal of Health Psychology. 9, 1394–1400. (in Chinese). DOI:

[14] Fu, L.F., Zhang, K., 2010. The relationship between college students’ positive psychological capital and learning burnout. Chinese Journal of Health Psychology. 11, 1356–1359. (in Chinese). DOI:

[15] Qian, K.J., Yin, K.L., Zhang, L.R., 2015. The predictive effect of learning burnout on college students' positive and negative psychological status. Chinese Journal of Mental Health. 3, 236–240. (in Chinese). DOI:

[16] Wei, N., Yang, C., Wang, X.Z., 2020. The impact of government information release on public psychology in major public emergency events: Data analysis based on COVID-19. Jiangsu Social Sciences. 3, 10–22. (in Chinese). DOI:

[17] Sitkin, S.B., Weingart, L. R., 1995. Determinations of risk decision making behavior: a test of the mediating role of risk perceptions and dependence. Academy of Management Journal. 6, 1573–1592. DOI:

[18] Liu, J.P., Zhou, G.Y., Huang, H.Q., 2006. Structure, factors and research methods of risk cognition. Psychological Science. 2, 370–372. (in Chinese). DOI:

[19] Xin, Z.Q., Li, Y., 2020. Research progress on risk perception and economic and social psychology of pandemic situation. Psychological Technology and Application. 6, 342–352. (in Chinese). DOI:

[20] Zhang, M., Cui, J.Y., Zhang, G.Y., 2023. The impact of media synchronization characteristics on social media burnout: the moderating effect of risk perception of the COVID-19 pandemic. News and Communication Research. 1, 34–50. (in Chinese).

[21] Qiu, R., Zhang, Y.M., Xu, J.W., 2023. The relationship between empathy and mental health: the chain mediating role of risk perception and psychological resilience. Psychological Monthly. 3, 16–20. (in Chinese). DOI:

[22] Liu, X., Huang, X.T., 2020. Social support and its mechanism of action on mental health. Psychological Research. 1, 3–8. (in Chinese). DOI:

[23] Yan, Y., Wen, J., 2020. Media use, risk perception and individual behavior in the early stage of COVID-19 pandemic. Press. 6, 50–61. (in Chinese). DOI:

[24] Quan, H.Y., 2008. Review of social support research. Journal of Chongqing University of Science and Technology (SOCIAL SCIENCES). 3, 69–70. (in Chinese). DOI:

[25] Li, W., Tao, S., 2003. The relationship between college students' sense of stress and depression and anxiety: the role of social support . Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2,108–110. (in Chinese). DOI:

[26] Yu, X.N., Zhang, J.X., 2007. Application Comparison of Self Resilience Scale and Connor Davidson Resilience Scale. Psychological Science. 5,1169–1171. (in Chinese). DOI:

[27] Xiao, S.Y., Yang, D.S., 1987. The impact of social support on physical and mental health. Chinese Journal of Mental Health, 4,183–187. (in Chinese). DOI:

[28] Yang, L., Du, W., Fang, P., et al., 2024. The influence of social emotion on prosocial behavior: the mediating role of interpersonal trust and the moderating role of social support. Psychological Research. 17(02), 132–139. (in Chinese). DOI:

[29] Wang, D.P., 2014. The impact of college students' social anxiety on career decision-making difficulties – the mediating role of psychological capital. Journal of Neijiang Normal University. 10, 59–62. (in Chinese). DOI:

[30] Hou, Y.J., Li, Y.J., Wang, P., 2023. Study on the relationship between college students’ perception of the risk of COVID-19 pneumonia and anxiety and depression – Based on the moderated mediation model. Journal of Xi'anjiaotonguniversity (Medical Edition). 2, 177–184. (in Chinese).

[31] Cohen, S., Wills, T.A., 1985. Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin. 2, 310. DOI:

[32] Vine, V., Hilt, L.M., Marroquín, B., 2019. Socially oriented thinking and the biological stress response: thinking of friends and family predictions trajectories of salivary cortisol decline. Psychophysiology. 12, 13461. DOI:

[33] Zeidner, M., Matthews, G., Shemesh, D.O., 2016. Cognitive social sources of wellbeing: differentiating the roles of copying style, social support and emotional intelligence. Journal of Happiness Studies. 17, 2481–2501. DOI:

[34] Wang, J., Mann, F., Lloyd-Evans, B., 2018. Associations between loneliness and qualified social support and outcomes of mental health problems: a systematic review. BMC Psychology. 1, 1–16. DOI:

[35] Zhao, K., Lv, J., Liu, J.P., 2013. Correlation analysis between college students' psychological resilience of career self-efficacy and career maturity anxiety. China School Health. 7, 824–826. (in Chinese). DOI:


How to Cite

Ning, J., Yin, S., & Zhang, X. (2024). The Impact of COVID-19 Risk Perception on College Students’ Positive Psychological Capital: the Role of Psychological Resilience and Social Support. Journal of Psychological Research, 6(2), 14–27.