We describe the findings of two studies which involved Italian university students during the during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The studies were based on a psychological theoretical background, focused on achievement emotion, emotional impacts of the pandemic, and coping. Our data revealed that the pandemic had a negative emotional impact on university students, and this is detrimental for their wellbeing and academic performance. In line with theoretical models (control-value theory), our findings confirmed that control-related beliefs were linked to achievement emotions. Improving awareness on coping strategies can influence achievement emotions, and in turn performance. Authorities, policy-makers, universities, etc., can promote a variety of actions to increase knowledge on emotional awareness, particularly on adaptive coping strategies.
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